HgCapital has acquired Norwegian business-process outsourcing (BPO) company Visma BPO in a carve-out from its parent, Visma, which is owned by HgCapital, KKR and Cinven.
The deal value was not disclosed, but local media reports the carve-out had an enterprise value of around NOK 4bn. A spokesperson for HgCapital said it had tapped its 2013-vintage HgCapital 7 vehicle for the equity – the same £2bn fund that had been used to acquire a stake in Visma in 2014.
HgCapital said in a statement the sale of Visma's BPO unit had followed a competitive sale process, reportedly run by ABG Sundal Collier. Ahead of the sale, sources close to the deal said a group of private equity funds had been invited to bid on Visma BPO by ABG Sundal Collier and that leverage on the deal was expected to be around 5x.
Prior to the carve-out, Visma BPO operated within the Visma group structure, which has been backed by HgCapital since 2006. The parent's decision to sell was part of a strategy to focus on its core software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering within the accounting software vertical. As a provider of accounting software and systems, Visma considered its BPO unit a potential conflict of interest, therefore deciding to sell it. However, during the sales process, one Nordic banking source said the unit was not as strong a performer as the rest of Visma.
The parent group has been under private equity ownership since 2006, when it was acquired in a NOK 4.32bn take-private by HgCapital 5. In October 2010, KKR acquired a 76.9% stake in the company, reducing HgCapital's stake to 17.7% in a NOK 11bn EV deal.
Four years later, Visma was valued at NOK 21bn when Cinven invested in the company alongside KKR and HgCapital, splitting the ownership stakes at 31.3% each with management holding the balance.
The acquisition by HgCapital marks the latest deal in the Nordic enterprise software sector, which has been an extremely popular target for private equity in recent years. In 2015, Vitruvian Partners and Marlin Equity entered the space through their acquisitions of Accountor and Bluegarden, while Swedish GP Procuritas bought Norwegian SME enterprise software provider Daldata from Via Venture Partners. Click here for an unquote" analysis of Nordic enterprise software and follow this link for a selection of deals in the sector.
Visma BPO is a Norway-based provider of outsourced accounting services. The company is headquartered in Oslo and provides accounting services to around 20,000 SMEs in the Nordic region and northern Europe.
Visma's BPO unit generated just shy of NOK 2bn in revenue in 2015 and employs a staff of 2,400.
Prior to the carve-out, Roar Wiik Andreassen was the director of Visma BPO.
HgCapital – Thorsten Toepfer (partner).
Visma – Øystein Moa (CEO).
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