How we helped

Citation provides health & safety and HR & employment law expertise to businesses up and down the country, supporting SMEs on anything from contracts of employment, handbooks and holiday management, to risk assessments, policies and site audits.

People & culture:

  • The total number of employees doubled in size to c. 400 by exit. We supported a project on culture within the business, and after appointing a HR Director and focusing on it at Board Level, the company was named a Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Sales & marketing:

  • During our investment Citation significantly grew its customer base from 5,500 to nearly 16,000 SME clients. At point of exit, Citation had a market leading net promoter score (+18 compared to an industry average of -11) and a customer retention rate of 92%.

Strategic acquisitions:

  • We supported the Citation team to make two acquisitions: QMS, which was sourced directly through our sector origination efforts; and Bibby Consulting & Support.
  • These acquisitions provided increased scale and consolidation within this growth market, but also enabled Citation to provide additional services through QMS’ ISO accreditation products to its existing SME customers.

Tech & data:

  • Significant investment was made into Citation’s Atlas technology system, its online customer interface which at the time of exit was the only platform in the market allowing customers to manage their employment law and health and safety tasks via a single portal.

During our investment three-year revenue and profit growth saw a CAGR of 26% and 32% respectively, and in 2016 ECI realized the business to Hg Capital delivering a multiple of 5.4x and a 74% IRR.