Preston software firm EKM bought by London technology partnership

The Preston-based e-commerce and online retail software provider EKM has been snapped up by a London technologies group.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 4:55 am

EKM, which is based in distinctive Fulwood offices on Caxton Road, complete with three storey slide and air-stream caravan meeting room, has been acquired by ClearCourse Partnership for an undisclosed sum.

Founded in 2002, EKM provides an e-commerce platform, delivering software that powers £350m of transactions annually for its customer base of SME online retailers.

Its system offers a full suite of e-commerce solutions, with capabilities including online shop design and visitor conversion tools.

Inside the EKM offices in Fulwood

EKM has helped tens of thousands of independent retailers across the UK and Ireland, servicing small businesses and entrepreneurs from cosmetics retailers to astronomy centres.

Following the acquisition, EKM and its customers will also benefit from the integration of ClearCourse’s proprietary payments platform, ClearAccept – alongside leading global players.

ClearCourse said the deal will strengthen the group’s e-commerce and online retail capabilities and sees EKM join the group’s Retail division to support Swan Retail and The EPOS Bureau.

Gerry Gualtieri, chief executive of ClearCourse, said: “We are very pleased to announce that EKM will be joining the ClearCourse Group. It is a fantastic business which has grown from strength to strength since its inception, and we are excited to learn from the expertise of Antony and his team.

Antony Chesworth, Founder and Managing Director of EKM which has joined the ClearCourse Partnership

"EKM will bring a range of positive synergies to ClearCourse and our existing brands, and its acquisition will be a significant expansion of our e-commerce and retail offering.”

Antony Chesworth, founder and managing director of EKM, said: “We are excited to be joining the ClearCourse Group, which will enable us to take the next steps in our nearly 20-year journey to help even more people to spend life doing something they love with their own easy-to-use online shop.

“The range of services, products and expertise within ClearCourse offers great synergies to our customers and will help us to grow their online businesses even further.”

EKM was advised during the deal by law firm Napthens’ Preston team office, Convex Capital (finance), and MHA Moore & Smalley (tax).

ClearCourse was advised by Squire Patton Boggs (legal), Alvarez & Marsal (finance and tax), and Crosslake (technical due diligence).

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