Yorkshire software firm sold by private equity owner

Tuesday 15th April 2014

A South Yorkshire software developer has been sold by its private equity owner.

MachineWorks Software, a developer of simulation and verification toolkit technology used in computer-aided manufacturing, has been acquired from Mobeus Equity Partners by Westec Holding Company based in West Sussex.

The deal provides Mobeus with a partial realisation of its investment in VSI by selling one of VSI’s two businesses. In 2006, Mobeus backed the management buyout of VSI.

Expensive materials are often used to manufacture parts in various sectors such as the aerospace and automotive industries and MachineWorks’ software simulates machining and helps manufacturers to avoid costly mistakes in a real life production environment.

Eric Tung, partner at Mobeus and non-executive director of MachineWorks, commented: “We are very proud of our association with MachineWorks which is an excellent example of the development of a world-class technology company in the UK. During our period of ownership, management has continuously innovated and invested to maintain its market leading position and to expand its product offering.  MachineWorks’s expertise is now recognised around the world and Westec’s acquisition is a further validation of MachineWorks’s technology. As part of the renowned Westec organisation, MachineWorks will continue to expand and prosper.”

VSI’s other business, Lightworks Software, will continue under the ownership of management and Mobeus Advised VCTs. Lightworks’s software product is used in many industries, in particular, the architectural sector, to produce photo-realistic images as part of the product design process.

The shareholders of MachineWorks were advised by Hamish Morrison and Matt Scott at BHP Corporate Finance and Peter Barton and Sallyanne Phillips of law firm Gordons.