CCH Expands SMB Market Position with TaxWise Acquisition

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and part of Wolters Kluwer Tax, Accounting & Legal division, announced the signing of an agreement to acquire the stock of TaxWise Corporation. The acquisition will enhance CCH’s ability to meet a wider range of professionals’ needs across market segments.

“This acquisition will represent a significant strategic opportunity for CCH to further grow its small- and mid-market position with established tax preparation software and bank product lines,” CCH President and CEO Kevin Robert said. “We’re very excited about the plans to bring TaxWise products into CCH’s portfolio of market-leading research and software solutions, and to serve as a strategic partner to an even broader range of professionals in this market.”

TaxWise and its subsidiary, Universal Tax Systems, Inc. (UTS), headquartered in Rome, Georgia, provide tax and accounting software solutions to more than 9,300 certified public accountants (CPAs), accounting professionals, enrolled agents and tax preparers across the U.S. CCH will maintain the TaxWise product lines, which include tax compliance software, e-filing services, bank products and training, currently marketed primarily under the TaxWise® brand, as a separate business line.

“CCH has long been a leader in the tax and accounting market and TaxWise customers will be well served by CCH as it focuses on providing a full suite of market leading solutions for professionals in the small- and mid-size market,” said Bill Anderson, TaxWise CEO.

Along with the August acquisition of ATX/Kleinrock, a provider of tax preparation, accounting and tax research software solutions, CCH has declared its commitment to serve the small- to mid-size markets with an expanded suite of solutions. The plan to acquire TaxWise, terms of which were not disclosed but which is subject to a number of customary conditions, including satisfaction of all regulatory requirements, further demonstrates CCH’s commitment to serve these professionals with an even wider range of products and services designed for their specific requirements.

TaxWise has 300 full-time employees and annual revenues of approximately $53 million.

Following the announcement earlier this week, Standard & Poor’s Rating Services raised their outlook for the firm to stable from negative, confirming the “BBB+” rating for the company’s long-term corporate credit and unsecured debt ratings, as well as the “A-2” for short-term corporate credit rating, AFX reports.

“The outlook revision reflects a cumulative increase in financial leverage after a spate of mid-size acquisitions in 2005 and 2006,” credit analyst Anna Overton told AFX. “Although our analysis recognizes the positive dynamics of Wolters Kluwer’s cash-generative publishing businesses, as well as the strategic fit of the newly acquired assets, the accelerating pace of debt-financed acquisitions constitutes a key credit issue.”

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