Hg has acquired a majority stake in France-based legal software business Septeo Group.
According to a report from French publication Le Figaro, the deal values the company at more than €1bn, implying an entry multiple of 25-27x its EBITDA of approximately €43m.
Co-founders Jean-Luc Boixel, Philippe Rivière and Hugues Galambrun invested alongside Hg for a minority stake.
Hg is deploying equity via Hg Genesis 9, which held a final close in October 2020 on €4.4bn, surpassing its target of €3.3bn. The fund writes equity tickets of €200-600m, focusing on companies with enterprise values of €500m-1.5bn.
Credit Mutuel Equity acquired a minority stake in Septeo in January 2019. The GP made a growth capital investment with leverage provided by CIC Sud-Ouest.
The investment aimed to support Septeo's buy-and-build strategy in the legal technology market and the company made a series of add-ons during the investment period, including France-based Novatim and Appliwave in November 2019, as well as Softlaw in May 2020. Unquote sister publication Mergermarket reported in February 2019 that Septeo was seeking businesses with revenues of €4-20m, but would also consider larger targets.
Founded in 1988, Septeo provides software for use by law firms, in-house legal teams, company real estate divisions and IT professionals. Based in Lattes and with additional offices in Paris, as well as in the US, Canada, the UAE, Tunisia and Belgium, the company has 1,400 employees and reports revenues of €175m. It generated turnover of €130m and employed 1,000 staff in 2018. The company serves 12,000 clients, according to a statement.
Hg – Jean-Baptiste Brian, Sebastien Briens, Joris Van Gool (partners).
Septeo Group – Hugues Galambrun (CEO); Jean-Luc Boixel, Philippe Rivière (directors).
Equity – White & Case (legal).
Management – EY (legal).
Announcement follows a series of discussions with potential strategic and financial investors
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