Rome, Ga., and Cleveland (July 27, 2004) -- Primus Venture Partners Inc., a Cleveland-based private equity firm, has acquired Universal Tax Systems Inc., publisher of TaxWise Software, in a transaction valued at $65 million.

The company’s senior management team and founding shareholders will retain ownership interest in the company and join Primus as participants in the new investment group.

“This transaction is good news for our customers, our associates and our shareholders," said Bill Anderson, who will continue in his role as chief executive. "It provides well-deserved liquidity to our many long-term investors, while allowing management and employees to continue execution of our business strategy. Most important, it guarantees our customers that they will receive the same high-quality products and services without interruption.”

The company intends to broaden its product offering for the accounting market beyond tax preparation to include an integrated suite, according to senior vice president for sales Tom Hughes.

“We hope to broaden our appeal to the professional market with an accounting suite of products so that we can provide an integrated solution,” said Hughes. The company, which currently offers a write-up product, a check writer and payroll, this year plans to add fixed assets and a tax planner, noted Hughes.

“What we’re most pleased about is that this recapitalization and acquisition insulates us from the continuing contraction in the industry in number of players,” he continued. “This should give solace to our existing and prospective customers that TaxWise is going to be TaxWise for the foreseeable future.”

Hughes added, “Primus is investing a substantial amount of money in the company so we can continue to grow.”

-- Roger Russell

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