Fife-based Cooper Software hits acquisition trail with deal to buy German tech business

A Scottish software company has acquired a German business as it looks to strengthen its presence overseas on the back of a private equity investment deal.

Fife-based Cooper Software has acquired u:benit, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software specialist in Bavaria for an undisclosed sum. The Dalgety Bay company, which works with clients including Harland & Wolff, Wrightbus, Intelliget Energy, Scot JCB, BMW and Gordon & MacPhail, said the move would enable it to move closer to a growing customer base in the Germany, Austria and Switzerland region.

Cooper Software has already expanded its presence in the region through the signing of a channel services and partnership agreement with Swedish software group IFS for the sale of its offering in the market.

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The German deal will see the founder of u:benit, Benedikt Stallmann, appointed general manager for the region and his company rebranded as Cooper Software Gmbh.

The Cooper Software and YFM teams pictured at the time of the investment, which has supported an acquisition in Europe. Picture: contributed.

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Jonathan Dunn, managing director of Cooper Software, said: “Due to our rapidly increasing customer base in the region, acquiring an ERP specialist on the ground will further strengthen our position in the market and meet the high demand for IFS specialists in the area.”

In November, Cooper Software, which was founded in 2005 by chief executive Frank Cooper, announced that it had completed an investment from a fund managed by YFM Equity Partners. The investment was aimed at supporting the business as it continued to expand its customer base, develop its product offering, and target overseas markets.

At the time of the deal, YFM partner Andy Thomas said the capital boost would enable the firm to move to the next level. “The ERP sector has huge potential as companies seek to maximise the benefits of digital transformation through greater automation, emerging technologies and data intelligence, as well as protecting against some of the modern day challenges presented by the pandemic such as of remote working,” he said.

YFM has a strong track record in the tech sector, including working with digital transformation and customer experience specialist FourNet and enterprise database management business DSP Explorer.

Software

Cooper Software works with clients to help them use software to manage day-to-day functions and data flow between processes. The business has provided more than 1,500 enterprise solutions for more than 300 clients worldwide.

It supplies and integrates the IFS ERP system across sectors including manufacturing, energy and utilities, service and maintenance, engineering and construction, and food and beverage. It has worked with IFS since the company’s inception in 2005, and is among its longest standing global partners.

Cooper Software has also developed its own software-as-a-service offering, ProScope, which has been sold to businesses around the world, including in the USA, Scandinavia, Australia, Europe and Africa.

The business has grown to more than 60 staff and its turnover is expected to reach £6.7 million this year. Last summer it vowed to continue growing its headcount after adding 20 people in the previous 12 months and hailing a jump in revenue. The firm reported a 27 per cent increase in income over the latest financial year, despite the economic challenges presented by the pandemic.

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