Deal announcements keep coming regardless of the summer holiday season. Software deals stood out to me this week, especially as three of them were exits.
Among those, we had Nordic Capital announcing the sale of Macrobond to Francisco Partners and The Riverside Company agreeing to part with Guestline. On top of those, Accel-KKR announced it had signed an agreement to sell Kerridge Commercial Systems, an ERP and business management software provider for distributors, wholesalers and related trades, to CapVest Partners.
Outside of exits, Exponent Private Equity reached an agreement to make an investment in TestingCo, an independent software testing platform.
Let’s start with a look into this week’s software exits. Nordic Capital agreed to sell Macrobond, a global provider of software and macroeconomic and financial data, to Francisco Partners.
Nordic Capital first invested in Malmö, Sweden-based Macrobond in 2018. The company, under Nordic Capital’s ownership, has more than tripled its annual contract value (ACV) and is currently trending at 34 percent LTM ACV growth.
Macrobond was valued at nearly €700 million in the deal, giving Nordic Capital a return of about 6x, according to people familiar with the matter spoken to by the Financial Times.
Nordic Capital made significant investments in Macrobond’s technology platform and product expansion, according to a release.
The next software exit of the week was The Riverside Company signing a definitive agreement to sell Guestline, a UK-based provider of mission critical software for the hospitality sector, to Access Group.
“The sale of Guestline marks the sixth exit achieved by the Riverside Europe team over the past 18 months, and again demonstrates our ability to support leading mid-market businesses through organic and inorganic growth initiatives,” said Karsten Langer, managing partner at Riverside Europe. “Despite the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19, Guestline’s revenue and earnings more than doubled during our investment period.”
To close the software exits for the week, we had Accel-KKR signing a definitive agreement to sell Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), an ERP and business management software provider for distributors, wholesalers and related trades, to CapVest Partners.
Berkshire, England-based KCS grew its overall revenue base more than four-fold, accelerated its organic revenue growth rate, expanded its percentage of revenue that was recurring in nature, and significantly expanded its operating margins, according to a release.
KCS also completed several follow-on acquisitions that expanded into new geographies including North America and Continental Europe, such as the take-private acquisition of US-based MAM Systems in 2019.
Accel-KKR’s recent platform investments in Europe include Basware, PayProp, and Symfonia.
Testing 1, 2, 3
Let’s balance this exit-heavy Dealflow a little while staying with our theme of software deals. Exponent Private Equity reached an agreement to make an investment in TestingCo, an independent software testing platform in the Netherlands. Green Park Investment Partners, TestingCo’s existing partner, will continue as a shareholder and will be on the board.
TestingCo provides comprehensive software testing and quality engineering services for its blue-chip clients and their mission-critical systems.
“The software testing market is growing globally, supported by increasing complexity of software systems and applications, new technologies, and accelerated digital transformation, and the Dutch market stands out as one of the most mature and sophisticated,” said Jeroen Regeur, partner at Exponent.
TestingCo will expand Exponent’s presence in the Netherlands, following the firm’s establishment of an office in Amsterdam in 2021.