Main Capital goes for majority stake in Cisbox

Keensight’s Biovian, 3P join to form biologics CDMO.

We’re kicking off things today with a fresh technology deal as artificial intelligence plays a transformative role in driving private equity investments in the sector. The transaction involves Main Capital acquiring a majority stake in Cisbox, a German cloud and AI-based procure-to-pay software provider.

Switching sectors, and we look at a transaction in healthcare, a segment which has managed to hold steady in a dealmaking environment tempered by higher interest rates, inflationary concerns and geopolitical uncertainty. The deal sees Biovian and 3P Biopharmaceuticals, both backed by Keensight, joining forces to establish a pan-European biologics contract development and manufacturing organisation.

Lastly, we have an update on KKR’s bid for Telecom Italia’s fixed-line network assets as competition heats up with the Italian government entering the fray.

Momentum in tech

Given AI’s growing influence on product development, service delivery and business operations, private equity firms are also seeking tech investment opportunities that harness AI to create value and tackle concerns in the sector.

Today, we reported Main Capital Partners’ acquisition of a majority stake in Cisbox, a German cloud and AI-based procure-to-pay (P2P) software provider.

Solingen-based Cisbox is Main’s second platform investment in the DACH-region in 2024.

Main will support Cisbox in its next growth phase through both organic and inorganic strategic initiatives, according to a release.

Besides organic growth, strategic add-on acquisitions will also be a growth strategy to complement the product and services portfolio, broadening the geographical footprint as well as consolidating the market position, the release added.

“Cisbox is clearly a winner in the P2P software market, [which] has seen its recurring revenues growing at a CAGR north of 20 percent and will strongly benefit from regulatory tailwinds, such as e-invoicing and Peppol,” said Dorian Berndt, investment director at Main Capital. The firm’s “focused organic growth initiatives coupled with a selective buy-and-build strategy will result in an improved value proposition towards existing and new customers”.

Stephan Kern and Sebastian Mehrle, Cisbox founders, will remain significantly invested in the company.

Healthcare merger

The healthcare sector showed resilience in 2023 and we are potentially seeing a good start to 2024 with us having reported a slew of deals since the beginning of January.

The most recent transaction involves Biovian and 3P Biopharmaceuticals, backed by their common shareholder Keensight Capital, combining forces to create 3PBiovian, a pan-European biologics contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO).

“The companies’ operational complementarity and strategic alignment will perfectly address the ever-complexifying demand for protein expression systems globally,” said Pierre Remy, managing partner at Keensight.

3PBiovian will provide end-to-end development and manufacturing services for all protein expression systems and viral vectors, both for drug substance and drug product, from preclinical to clinical development and commercial phases. The group will have gross sales of above €75 million.

ERES IV, advised by Elyan Partners, and Sodena, will continue as minority shareholders alongside Keensight.

Continuing consolidation

Consolidation in healthcare is a theme in several geographies.

“The trends in healthcare are consolidation in the US in markets that deal with value-based reimbursement,” Aytan Dahukey, partner at law firm Sheppard Mullin told PE Hub Europe. “Healthcare businesses that take advantage of payment methodologies that focus on quality of care and outcomes… continue to be a focus in terms of consolidation.”

Healthcare tech deals are also busy, including for companies that support value-based reimbursement methodologies and those in in AI and digital health, Dahukey said.

“There is a continuing consolidation that is going on in certain specialties in the US where there is fragmentation; urgent care continues to be busy and then some of the other specialisations like community oncology continues to be busy,” he said. Though behavioural health has slowed down “significantly”, it’s still a focus in a lot of dealmaking because of the “opportunities for consolidation”, he added.

For more on healthcare, read Craig McGlashan’s interview with Blackstone’s Dr Nicholas Galakatos on his outlook for the sector.

Rival offer

KKR has a new rival in its bid for Telecom Italia’s (TIM) fixed-line network assets as Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has submitted an offer for the acquisition of TIM subsidiary Sparkle.

The offer also refers to the “possibility of negotiating a different option, with possible adjustments to the contractual terms, in the event TIM retains a minority stake for a certain period of time and supports the implementation of the strategic plan”.

The submitted bid will be effective for 15 days and TIM’s board of directors is scheduled to examine it on 7 February.

Check out our previous coverage to know more about KKR’s interest in TIM here.