Ascend Advises Book King in its Acquisition by Univerus

The addition of Book King will serve as a springboard for development activity and bring improved recreation management products to customers throughout North America.

TYSONS, VA (May 3, 2022) – Ascend Capital Group (“Ascend”) is pleased to announce its most recent transaction in the GovTech and SportsTech spaces serving as the exclusive financial advisor to Book King, a leading provider of recreation management software solutions, in its acquisition by Univerus, an innovative enterprise software provider to the government, utilities, and services sectors. Working together with Univerus, the two businesses will add to an impressive client base that already includes sports & fitness centers, local governments, healthcare systems, schools, colleges, and universities.

Book King provides an enterprise recreation management software platform designed to help communities, municipalities, and organizations simplify and unify activity management functions. This new partnership will transform Book King with an abundance of resources, including innovative software R&D to continue to expand its platform for its customers.

“With the support of Univerus, Book King will be able to build on what it already does so well by exploring new products, technologies, and markets,” commented Bruce Toogood, CEO of Book King. “The next chapter in our story promises to be an incredibly exciting one. After gradually building the Book King business over the last two decades, I’m pleased to see how this new partnership has rejuvenated our team. We all look forward to future developments knowing that Univerus will help us reach new clients and further improve our high customer service standards as we grow.”

Book King will have the opportunity to collaborate with a portfolio of Univerus’ businesses that includes other sport and recreation software providers. Teams will be encouraged to share best practices and work together to bring cutting-edge software to as many customers as possible.

Univerus CEO Brad Atchison describes the mutual benefits of the acquisition, “We’re delighted to welcome Book King to the family. They have a unique and compelling product which really complements what we already do here at Univerus—with the investment and support teams we have in place, we’re perfectly positioned to grow the business together.”

Book King was attracting a lot of interest from potential buyers, but looking beyond financial investment, there were clear synergies between Book King and Univerus. Toogood trusted his instincts after meeting the Univerus acquisition team, commenting, “Sometimes you just get a good feeling right away, and this was definitely the case with Univerus. There were no red flags at all—it was clear that they value relationships in addition to numbers on a spreadsheet, which matches our ethos. With all the other boxes ticked too, we didn’t need to look any further.”

Toogood continued, “I will forever be thankful to the team at Ascend. Their guidance was invaluable to us as they simplified complex situations and fiercely focused on what meant the most to us—ensuring our employees were taken care of. Our relationship went beyond the transaction to building trusting relationships and friendships that will stand the test of time.”

“The values and vision Book King and Univerus share and their mutual respect for each other were evident in our first interaction,” added DJ Palmer, Director at Ascend. “Bruce and his team understood this was the type of jet fuel they needed to propel them to the next level in recreation management. This transaction not only aligns two great Canadian businesses, but the acquisition enables Univerus to continue growing their presence in Canada and accelerate growth among municipalities in the United States.”

This acquisition was effective March 31, 2022.

Contact

Douglas Palmer, Jr. (“DJ”)

dpalmer@ascendcg.com | 703.509.2845

I will forever be thankful to the team at Ascend. Their guidance was invaluable to us as they simplified complex situations and fiercely focused on what meant the most to us—ensuring our employees were taken care of. Our relationship went beyond the transaction to building trusting relationships and friendships that will stand the test of time.

About Book King
About Book King

Our innovative Recreation Management Software solution includes: Facility and Resource Scheduling, Activity and Camp Registration, Membership Management, Public Access, and Point of Sale Modules. Book King is used by over 250 organizations located in Canada, USA, and the Caribbean to manage over 1,500 locations and 20,000 facilities. We process over 1,250,000 facility bookings, 500,000 activity enrollments, 1,000,000 membership check-ins and over $50 million in payment transactions per year. For more information, visit bookking.ca.

About Univerus
About Univerus

Univerus’ core tenet is that significant harmonious value results from bringing together forward-thinking professionals and proven solutions. Representing a suite of software businesses strategically woven into the Univerus family, its centralized management approach has empowered top-notch teams to provide mission-critical solutions with the most robust and innovative products available in the marketplace. For more information, visit univerus.com.

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