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GoProposal, a major supplier of accounting and bookkeeping software, has been acquired by Sage, a leading provider of finance, accounting and payroll solutions to SMEs.

Shaw & Co, the specialist corporate finance advisory firm, advised GoProposal on the deal which comprises 100% of the share capital in the company. The deal is part of Sage’s commitment to building a portfolio of modern and forward-thinking practice management solutions in the cloud for accountants in the UK and globally.  

Founded by James Ashford, GoProposal’s pricing, proposal and engagement letter software enables accountants and bookkeepers to price consistently, increase revenue, sell more confidently, and minimise risk across their entire firm. Grown completely organically and driven by a set of core values, philosophies and strategies, the company has established a strong client base over the last years with over 1,100 members.

Sage, meanwhile, is one of the UK’s leading technology companies. With over 12,000 employees in 22 countries across North America, UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, South Africa, Australia and Asia, the company has millions of customers across the globe. It is also listed on the London Stock Exchange where it is a member of the FTSE100 index and has a market capitalization of £7.2bn. In the year ending September 2020, Sage reported revenues of £1.9bn and an Ebitda of £555m.

James Ashford, Founder, GoProposal, said: “Over the past five years we have put all of our passion and knowledge and energy into GoProposal, which has had a huge impact on the accounting industry and in turn, their clients.

“Finding the right home for our team, our customers and our product was of paramount importance for us, which is why we couldn’t be more thrilled that Shaw & Co helped us to secure the deal with Sage.

“Building and then selling this business has been exciting, challenging and absolutely nerve wracking in equal measures. This whole process has been the most intense period of my life and I couldn’t imagine having gone through it with any other company other than Shaw & Co.  Jim, Daisy and Myles at Shaw & Co were with us every step of the way and have helped secure a promising future for myself, my family and GoProposal by Sage.”

Jim Shaw, CEO & Founder, Shaw & Co, said: “We have worked closely with James and the GoProposal team to ensure that, not only did we get the best deal for the shareholders, but that we also found the best strategic partner for the company and its employees. GoProposal has built a unique proposition and an outstanding team with a distinct culture, so it was particularly important that its people and values would continue to be nurtured post acquisition. Once we had packaged the business and taken it to market it soon became clear that Sage was the perfect fit.”

Bruce Roxburgh of Roxburgh Milkins, which advised on the legal aspects of the deal, said: “We’re delighted to have advised the team at GoProposal on this exciting step for them. Their innovative approach has gained deserved attention and it’s great to see their progress recognised in this way. In helping accountancy firms establish consistent value for their services, the value of GoProposal’s contribution to the accounting industry has itself now been recognised.”