RBS buys Edinburgh software firm FreeAgent for £53m

Ed Molyneux

Royal Bank of Scotland said on Tuesday it agreed to acquire Edinburgh-based accounting software firm FreeAgent for about £53 million.

The offer price of 120p in cash represents a premium of 86% to FreeAgent’s closing price of 64.5p on Monday and  a premium of 42.9% to the firm’s IPO price of 84p.

RBS CEO Ross McEwan said: “Since the beginning of our partnership, we have been impressed by FreeAgent and its technology and are excited by the enhanced offering we will be able to provide to our customers.

“We believe that a technology-enabled solution for our business banking customers will make it easier for our customers to build their businesses safely and securely.”

FreeAgent CEO Ed Molyneux said: “Today’s announcement represents the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for FreeAgent. 

“Our vision is ‘making businesses happier and more successful by putting them in control of their finances’ and this moves us closer to that vision.

“Having developed a strong strategic partnership with RBS and with over 10,000 of their business banking customers having already signed up to use FreeAgent’s accounting solution, we look ahead to the next chapter, where we will accelerate and further extend our technology capabilities as part of a bigger group.

“Our working together represents a really compelling opportunity and hence the board is intending to recommend the offer which we believe makes both good strategic and financial sense.”

 more to follow …