Cinven buys into PE-backed SaaS provider Visma


European buyout firm Cinven has agreed to invest in private equity-backed software and business process outsourcing services business Visma, valuing the Nordic company at a total enterprise value of NOK21bn (€2.5bn).

KKR will sell down from 76 per cent but will retain a “significant” ownership of 31.3 per cent in the business. HgCapital, which has 16 per cent of the shares now will sell out, but will reinvest through a new fund bringing its shareholding to 31.3 per cent. HgCapital and KKR will partner with Cinven who will also hold 31.3 per cent of the shares. The Visma management will own six per cent of the shares. Shareholders will also include Nordic institutional investors Ilmarinen and Storebrand, along with Visma management.

While there was no available exit information for the deal, Montagu Private Equity, which was also a previous shareholder, yielded a 2x return for the sale of its “significant” minority stake, according to a source close to the deal.

Visma delivers enterprise resource planning software and services including accounting, tax and payroll applications and services to over 340,000 customers, retailers and local authorities across the Nordic region. The deal is the eighth investment from Cinven’s fifth fund.

In 2013, the group generated revenues of NOK6.5bn (€778.5m). Since 2010, revenues and EBITDA have grown consistently at a CAGR of 16 per cent and 18 per cent respectively. Established in 1996, Visma is headquartered in Oslo and operates in 12 countries across Northern Europe. It employs more than 5,600 people.

The management team will continue to be led by Øystein Moan, chief executive, who joined the group in 1997 and has led Visma to become one of the most innovative companies in the Nordic region.

David Barker, partner at Cinven, said, “We are excited to be backing a first class management team as they execute a strategy for further growth from SaaS penetration in the Nordic region. Visma represents a great opportunity to invest in a highly cash generative and stable business with strong organic and acquisitive growth prospects. We believe that the ERP software market is highly attractive and we have been following Visma for a long time.”

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