Thrings steers Adelante shareholders through ClearCourse acquisition

Legal | Mergers & Acquisitions | South West

South West-based corporate lawyers from Thrings have advised the shareholders of payments processing businesses Adelante on the company’s sale to global software firm ClearCourse for an undisclosed sum.

Adelante, which provides a diverse range of credit and debit card payment solutions through its ConnectPay gateway, has entered the latest phase of its growth strategy by joining ClearCourse, a group of innovative technology companies whose integrated software solutions are used by businesses around the world.

Founded in 1998, Adelante’s technology enables clients to process payments online, over-the-phone or via a smartphone app, and through its bespoke recurring card payment hardware system.

Its clients comprise a number of well-known high-street retailers, local authorities and membership organisations, including lingerie retailers Ann Summers, publishers Scholastic and Surrey Heath Borough Council.

ClearCourse, which is headquartered in London and backed by Aquiline Capital Partners, has been servicing clients in the government and not-for-profit, events and booking, lifestyle, sports and leisure, and business services sectors since its inception in 2018.

Adelante’s Darrell Bluck, Chris Graham and Clive Jones received legal, commercial and strategic advice from lawyers at Thrings, with the three principal shareholders working closely with corporate partners John Davies and Simon Hore, and solicitor Conor Melvin.

Thrings’ work included running the legal due diligence exercise, reviewing and negotiating the share purchase agreement, and carrying out the disclosure exercise.

Darrell Bluck said: “I’m incredibly proud of what the Adelante team has achieved over the past 22 years. We were ready to take the business to the next level and in ClearCourse we see the ideal partner to drive further growth at a rate that matches our ambitions.

“John, Simon and the team at Thrings were a pleasure to work with. They took time to understand our goals in selling the company and delivered. Easy to deal with, they cut through the legal jargon and we felt they were part of our team from start to finish.”

John Davies, who heads up Thrings’ Corporate team, added: “It was tremendous fun working on this transaction with Darrell and his team. Despite the challenges presented by Covid, there was a clear determination, as well as great chemistry, between all parties which ensured the deal continued to move forward.

“Darrell, Chris and Clive have worked extremely hard to build Adelante into a fantastically successful business with some remarkable clients. I’m sure that ClearCourse will continue to add to that legacy to the benefit of both organisations’ clients.”

ClearCourse received legal advice for international law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

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