Fourth Hospitality secures funding from ECI

Company plans to use investment to boost market growth

Fourth Hospitality, the software as a service (SaaS) provider, will be able to accelerate its market growth and infiltration thanks to new investment from mid-market private equity firm ECI Partners.

Founded in 1999 by restaurant entrepreneurs Derek and Edwina Lilley,who remain investors in the business, Fourth provides software for labour, stock and purchasing functions. Customers include Pizza Express, Fuller’s, Marston’s, Wagamama, Café Rouge, Hilton, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccios, ASK and the Gordon Ramsay Group.

Ben Hood, managing director of Fourth, commented: “We are very excited to be taking Fourth to another level with the right partner – ECI – who are a perfect fit and the timing could not be better. We have a fantastic team, a unique opportunity and are thoroughly looking forward to the future.”

Fourth has grown rapidly to become the UK market leader with a 12% share of the market, and last year appeared in the Sunday Times Tech Track of fastest-growing companies. Revenues in the year to 31 August 2010 rose by 17%, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) up 29%.

The company now operates across 20 countries including the US, Russia, Germany and South Africa, managing over 150,000 employee records and processing more than three million invoices. The funding from ECI will also be used to finance new product development and fund bolt-on acquisitions while extending the company’s market reach.

According to ECI it had been tracking Fourth as a potential investment due to its strong position in a growing market.

David Ewing of ECI Partners, commented: “We are delighted to be backing Ben and his team at Fourth. ECI is a growth investor and we look forward to helping the company to continue to grow across the globe.”


© Crimson Business. Ltd 2011


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