Descartes acquires niche SaaS business Exentra


Clearwater Corporate Finance has advised the shareholders of leading UK-based Exentra Transport Solutions Ltd, a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) driver compliance solutions, on its sale to Descartes Systems Group (TSX:DSG) (Nasdaq:DSGX), the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce. The all cash purchase price for the acquisition was £10.7 million.

Exentra, headquartered in Chippenham, provides compliance management solutions to some of the UK’s leading transportation companies. The company’s cloud-based compliance management platform, Smartanalysis, helps customers leverage the data from a vehicle’s tachograph (which must be fitted on every vehicle over 3.5 tons) to comply with EU-wide legislation governing driver compliance.

Senior analyst Emma Rodgers and assistant director Paddy Bamford of Clearwater Corporate Finance, advised Exentra on the deal.

Steve Fisher, CEO of Exentra and Director of Compliance at Descartes commented: “The EU driver compliance legislation has been in place longer than comparable regulations in North America. In the EU, not only is every vehicle required to have tachograph hardware, but the hardware is standardized and fitted during vehicle production. Our experience strengthens Descartes’ Routing, Mobile and Telematics suite to address the US regulatory environment, while our combined solutions also have an immediate impact on the quality and safety of route planning for our collective UK customers.”

Exentra brings thousands of UK routing-centric customers to Descartes’ Logistics Technology Platform, where more than 35,000 trading partners connect and collaborate to improve logistics operations. Descartes’ EU customers immediately benefit from an enhanced Routing, Mobile, and Telematics suite that integrates compliance and route planning applications. This integration can help customers have improved and safer delivery route plans and reduce working-time driver violations.

Emma Rodgers, senior TMT analyst at Clearwater, said: “I am delighted to see Exentra become part of the Descartes group. There is an excellent fit in terms of strategy and culture between the two businesses, with clear opportunities for the Exentra platform to be rolled out across Europe and North America as well as for Exentra in the UK to offer the full suite of Descartes products to its existing customers.

“Exentra is the UK leader in a niche SaaS market driven by increasing EU regulation and technology advances. This is Clearwater’s fourth major SaaS-model transaction and given the increasingly ubiquitous nature of cloud computing technologies and our own pipeline we expect to see many more SaaS transactions in 2013.”