British software firm Reward Gateway sold to U.S. private equity

LONDON (Reuters) - Reward Gateway, a British company whose software helps companies reward their staff, has been sold by Inflexion Private Equity to U.S.-based technology investor Great Hill Partners in a deal that values the group at 140 million pounds.

Chief Executive Glenn Elliott, who founded Reward Gateway in 2006, said Great Hill’s U.S. presence, technological expertise and understanding of the human resources sector made them stand out in a field of potential investors.

“They got us straight away; they understand the opportunity,” he told Reuters, adding that the group also received interest from trade buyers.

Great Hill would help the British company exploit opportunities in the medium-sized business sector - for example in managing employee benefits and recognition programmes - and expand into markets such as Latin America, he said.

Reward Gateway’s software helps companies manage reward and benefit schemes like childcare vouchers, trading vacation days and retailer discounts.

Its management and employees, who hold a 40 percent stake, will receive a windfall, with all 269 employees below board level sharing about 6.5 million pounds, Elliott said.

He will stay with the business, which had revenue in the year to end-June of 189 million pounds, and said he had increased his own stake to about 28 percent.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Susan Fenton