Bidding began last year but this week, Apax’s acquisition of Exact (the Dutch-listed ERP business) looks to be a done deal and the latest in a long line of ERP businesses taken private by PE funds. Exact announced that it is unanimously recommending a €32 per share deal, valuing the business at around €612m. The deal implies an FY14 EV/EBITDA multiple of 13.9x or 12.0x FY15 – which is more in line with the multiples we typically see for ERP businesses with this kind of scale. According to its announcement, Exact intends to “accelerate and expand its international growth strategy in cloud and scale up its portfolio of cloud-based business software”. No surprises there!
More Private Equity action was to be found in the conclusion of ECI’s sale of Wireless Logic, with CVC Capital winning out in what was reported to be a hotly contested process. ECI invested in M2M business Wireless Logic back in 2011, helping the founders to buy the business back from Phones International Group. Over the investment period, the business has grown international operations – opening in France, Germany and Spain – as well as posting revenue growth of 25% per annum. Positioning itself at the heart of the highly trendy “Internet of Things” market no doubt also helped on the multiple!
In the DC market, the outstanding news of the week was the merger of UK-listed player Telecity with NYSE-listed (but Netherlands-based) Interxion. Together the businesses are worth an impressive €4.2bn (€2.7bn for Telecity, €1.5bn for Interxion) and expect to realise around €800m from cost efficiencies and “commercial opportunities”.
In other news, the activity in the FinTech market continued unabated with the news that Temenos would acquire Akcelerant – a provider of software to US credit unions – and I’m watching with interest the continuing activity of Berlin-based Rocket Internet (see homepage for mission to become “the world’s largest internet platform outside the United States and China”) which this week acquired Talabat, a Kuwaiti online takeaway business, for €150m to add to its Global Online Takeaway Group.