Reclaims rights to Elite in £5m buyout of Cambridge IT consultancy

Braben to sell up to 1.6m shares in Frontier

David Braben is to sell up to 1.6m shares in Frontier Developments, following the buyout of an IT firm, which holds the rights to the Elite franchise he co-created.

Frontier purchased software and IT consultancy Professional Practice Automation in a £5.09m deal on Tuesday, April 15th.

Braben, CEO of Frontier, became a member of PPA in early 2014, according to a notice about the buyout on the company’s homepage.

Along with company assets, Frontier stands to acquire the royalty rights to the Elite video game franchise, currently held by PPA.

Braben assigned these rights to the company in June 2008 in return for a royalty based on Frontier’s profits from the Elite franchise.

Elite: Dangerous, due later this year, will be the first Elite title for more than 15 years. Frontier’s acquisition coincides with changes at the IT firm, which ceased consulting in 2013, but continues to develop software that is “currently in use on thousands of seats across accountancy practices in the UK”.

Braben plans to sell up to 1.6m shares at a price of 250 pence per share via a placing. This represents 5.1 per cent of the issue share capital of the company. Canaccord Genuity is acting as bookrunners.

Professional Practice Automation was set up in 2009 by Andrew Webster and Mark Ryan to offer IT consultancy, to develop software for use in accounting practices and to sell software previously developed by the partners.

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