London-based private equity firm Hg and other buyout groups have agreed to invest in Norwegian software developer Visma Group. The deal, which values the company at $12.2bn, is one of the software sector’s biggest buyouts.

Visma is a leading European software company and supplies accounting, payroll, HR and other business software to more than one million small customers in the public and private sectors across the Nordic region along with Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe. The company, which has 11,000 employees, reported net revenue of €1.5bn last year.

Specific values invested were not disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter said the capital commitment from Hg is about $2bn.

According to the terms of this deal, the existing investor, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), will also acquire additional stakes, while global investment firms TPG and Warburg Pincus will invest in Visma for the first time, becoming minority shareholders. European private equity firm Montagu, which has been an investor in the business since 2010, will fully exit.

Following the completion of the transaction, Hg will continue to own a majority stake, now 54%, alongside co-investors GIC (17%), ICG (7%), CPPIB (6%), General Atlantic (2%), TPG (3%), Warburg Pincus (5%), and management (6%), Visma said.

“As we continue to invest in world-class technology, including new areas of innovation such as AI and machine learning, we warmly welcome this new investment. We also highly value the support we continually receive from our existing investors. We look forward to continuing Visma’s strategy to create a fully online ecosystem for businesses across Europe,” Merete Hverven, Visma’s CEO, noted.

Nic Humphries, senior partner and head of the Hg Saturn team, said Covid-19 has demonstrated the power of the cloud solutions Visma offers, “empowering businesses to stay connected and continue working through the crisis”.

“Today we’re as excited as we’ve ever been about the future prospects of the business,” he added.

Hg first invested in Visma 14 years ago, when it led the original delisting of the company from the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2006. Since then, the company has experienced significant growth, with year-on-year, revenue and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation increase over the past 15 years of 19% and 23%, respectively, Hg said in a statement.

Source: Private Equity News

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