Software firm Civica will be a huge success in the private sector, its new owner 3i has said.

Potential acquisitions by Civica, as well as the prospect of growth in local government contracts means there is big potential for expansion at the firm, the private equity group suggested.

Civica, which has offices in Coleshill and Dudley, is one of the leading public sector focused software and services provider in the UK, Australia and Singapore.

It was bought by 3i in a £190 million buyout deal at the end of March that left the group with £20 million for future acquisitions.

The purchase was formally confirmed at the end of last week.

3i partner Simon Freer said: "Technology is a key sector focus for 3i and we identified Civica as an attractive business because of its size, growth prospects and strong management.

"We see significant growth prospects in Civica’s core business of selling software to local authorities as well as leveraging 3i’s network to back the management plans for further acquisitions."

Civica, whose software and services are used by more than 700 local authorities and 47 out of 53 UK police forces, operates in an industry with plenty of potential for growth, 3i said.

It has strong positions in robust and expanding UK and Australian markets with significant barriers to entry.

It will also be looking to grow its presence in South-East Asia, currently a niche position.

The move from public to private was made with financing from a number of sources, including the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Colin Roberston, director of corporate and structured finance at RBS, said: "We have worked closely with the management team to understand its business aspirations and tailored a funding package backing Civica in this strategic transaction.

"I look forward to continuing to work with the team as it embarks on its ambitious growth plans."