Vista Equity Partners agreed to acquire Santa Clara, Calif.-based cyber-security company Infoblox Inc. (NYSE: BLOX) for $1.6 billion. Vista Equity Partners, with offices in Austin, Chicago and San Francisco, and over $26 billion in capital commitments, is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in software and technology-enabled businesses. The firm is led by billionaire Robert F. Smith, its founder, chairman and CEO, who has an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion according to Forbes. GovDelivery is used by more public sector organizations for digital communications than all other solutions combined, it says. The company has built an industry-leading platform for digital government communications used by over 1,800 customers, reaching over 120 million people. The company has dramatically expanded its investment to drive accelerating value to its customers over the past 24 months, doubling its investments in product development, security, and operations. GovDelivery launched major enhancements in 2016 to support advanced digital marketing, FedRAMP security compliance, and learning-enabled content while adding interactive text capabilities and an open source data management and open data platform through acquisitions. Over half of GovDelivery’s workforce has joined the company since January 1, 2015. “Under the strong leadership of CEO Scott Burns, we have transformed GovDelivery into a valuable, high growth company, and are confident that the company will continue its impressive growth trajectory,” said Actua’s chief executive Walter Buckley. “Since our acquisition of the business in 2009 for $20 million, GovDelivery has assembled a first-class management team and built out an industry-leading platform for digital government communications with a strong competitive moat. Through the execution of a highly effective growth strategy, GovDelivery has increased revenues by nearly 600 percent,” Buckley added. “Vista is a world class partner for our next phase of growth,” said GovDelivery chief executive Scott Burns. “This $153 million investment validates our strategy and is the largest single investment in a cloud-based government technology company to date.” “What sets GovDelivery apart is its success helping governments reach more people through its platform,” said Patrick Severson, board member and principal at Vista Equity Partners. Actua is a publicly traded venture capital firm formerly known as ICG Group Inc. It changed its name to Actua Corp in September 2014. Actua currently operates as a multi-vertical cloud company with over 900 employees. It has a market capitalization of over $490 million. The deal is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016. Upon completion, Actua expects to realize net cash proceeds of approximately $132 million. Stephens Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to GovDelivery. Photo: Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. (Bloomberg/Getty Images)]]>
“We’re no longer a minor league player. And while I’m sure we’ll retain our scrappy underdog mentality — we’ve done a deal so that our major league ambitions can be fully realized. Today I’m proud to announce that J. Walter Thompson Company, part of WPP, has acquired iStrategyLabs,” said iStrategyLabs founder and CEO Peter Corbett. “Some founders think that the day you sell your company is ‘the end;’ that you’ve sold your baby. I never set out to do that — so for years I resisted all the offers that came our way, of which there were many. Over time, it became clear to me that this company had grown up and needed a bigger canvas to paint on. With nearly 90 people on the team, we’re no longer a small company,” Corbett added. “Whether we’re creating devices to connect fans and celebrities for Facebook, inventing an internet-controlled arcade game for Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob, or creating live streaming interactive games for MillerCoors — we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” ISL says. “For an ad campaign with MillerCoors they set up a fake bar scene in a warehouse in Northeast D.C. and let online users destroy it with a remote-controlled rapid-fire apple launcher. Nickelodeon hired them to create an Internet-connected claw to grab gifts, erected at a SpongeBob festival in Los Angeles. The company’s geeks came up with a physical mirror that takes professional-grade selfies,” said The Washington Post. “But iStrategyLabs’ biggest growth driver lately has been creating content directly for social media. For the company’s newer campaigns it dispatches 10-person teams to create videos and promote them directly on the Internet, as opposed to paying television stations for the air time.” ISL will be the force behind its real-time content marketing and online-plus-offline campaign work. ISL will continue to operate independently out of Washington D.C., while building an office within J. Walter Thompson Company headquarters in New York. The acquisition continues WPP’s strategy of investing in the digital sector and the US market. The group’s digital revenues were over $7 billion in 2015, representing 37% of its total revenues of $19 billion. In the US, WPP companies collectively employ over 25,000 people. WPP was founded in 1971 by Sir Martin Sorrell, the company’s CEO. WPP has a market capitalization of $26.68 billion, with over 194,000 employees worldwide.. WPP has as invested in multiple digital content companies such as Woven Digital, Refinery29, Mitú, Inc. and Russel Simmons’ All Def Digital. Other investments include Truffle Pig, Fullscreen, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Say Media, Bruin Sports Capital, Courtside Ventures, The Weinstein Company and VICE. Additional WPP digital assets include companies like Acceleration (marketing technology consultancy), Cognifide (content management technology), Salmon (e-commerce), Hogarth (digital production technology) and Xaxis (the world’s largest global programmatic media and technology company). WPP also has investments in a number of innovative technology services companies such as Globant, Mutual Mobile, Kuvera (an ecommerce company specializing in Chinese ecommerce platforms) and ad technology companies such as AppNexus, comScore (data investment management), eCommera, DOMO, mySupermarket and Percolate. WPP also owns digital agencies AKQA, Blue State Digital, F.biz in Brazil, Mirum, POSSIBLE, Rockfish, VML and Wunderman. Photo (L-R): Matt Eastwood, Worldwide Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson; Peter Corbett, CEO, iStrategyLabs; Tamara Ingram, Global CEO, J. Walter Thompson.]]>
The PennySaver, which it also divested by 2013.]]>
Swedish private equity firm EQT has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Denmark-based Sitecore A/S from its founders, Technology Crossover Ventures and other minority shareholders, in a transaction valued at EUR 1 billion. Sitecore is a global leader in customer experience management software. As part of the transaction, Sitecore’s founders are rolling a significant portion of their equity and partnering with EQT for the next phase of growth. Danica and Sampension, investors in EQT, will co-invest in Sitecore alongside EQT. The transaction is subject to approval by relevant regulatory authorities and is expected to close in Q2 2016. Following continued strong growth of more than 30% p.a. in recent years, Sitecore generates revenues of around EUR 200 million at an EBITDA margin of approximately 25%. Sitecore has close to 800 employees across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.
Sweden is the world’s second most prolific tech hub on a per capita basis, behind Silicon Valley.“For several years, we have been following Sitecore given its leading market position, its strong technology offering and its impressive growth story,” said Morten Hummelmose, Partner and Head of Denmark at EQT Partners A/S, investment advisor to EQT. “In close cooperation with management, we want to help Sitecore continue to drive product innovation and expand further into the digital marketing software space. We are convinced that EQT’s industrial network and resources can support Sitecore to capture its full potential,” added Dominik Stein, partner and head of Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) at EQT Partners GmbH, investment advisor to EQT. “The partnership and acquisition announced today by EQT and Sitecore is specifically designed to sustain Sitecore’s profitable growth and scale as Sitecore continues to expand at a rapid double-digit pace,” said Michael Seifert, CEO and co-founder of Sitecore. “We are excited that a world class investor such as EQT will become a critical part of Sitecore’s future growth. With EQT and founders as well as management of Sitecore joining forces, we are convinced that Sitecore is set up for continued success in the years to come.” Sitecore is a global leader in experience management software that enables context marketing. The Sitecore Experience Platform manages content, supplies contextual intelligence, and automates communications, at scale. It empowers marketers to deliver content in context of how customers have engaged with their brand, across every channel, in real time. More than 4,600 customers—including American Express, Carnival Cruise Lines, easyJet, and L’Oréal—trust Sitecore for context marketing to deliver the personalized interactions that delight audiences, build loyalty, and drive revenue. The company was founded in 2001. EQT is a leading global private equity group with approximately EUR 29 billion in raised capital. EQT has portfolio companies in Europe, Asia and the US with total sales of more than EUR 17 billion and approximately 140,000 employees. EQT works with portfolio companies to achieve sustainable growth, operational excellence and market leadership. EQT was founded two decades ago as the Wallenberg family sought to diversify their interests beyond their homeland. The family empire sprang from a single bank more than 150 years ago, SEB, now one of the top banks in Sweden. SEB was founded by André Oscar Wallenberg, a naval officer, who had collected books on banking while sailing around the world. EQT Partners is the investment advisor to all the group’s funds. It has around 370 employees, of which approximately 200 are within the investment advisory teams. EQT is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. The firm and its affiliates have additional offices in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Guernsey, Helsinki, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Munich, New York, Oslo, Shanghai, Singapore, Warsaw and Zurich. The company was founded in 1994 by Investor AB, US-based private equity firm AEA Investors, and SEB Asset management. “The Wallenbergs are extraordinarily powerful,” says The Telegraph. “They control a vast business empire made up of large stakes in many of Sweden’s biggest multinationals and worth tens of billions of pounds.”
“By the late 1990s the Wallenbergs’ holding company, Investor AB, was estimated to own roughly 40pc of the Swedish stock market. In short, their influence in Swedish business is unmatched.” —The TelegraphInvestor AB (INVEB.ST) is a Swedish industrial holding company, founded in 1916 and controlled by the Wallenberg family through their Foundation Asset Management company FAM, whose chairman is Peter Wallenberg, Jr., a board member of EQT. The company owns controlling stakes in several large Swedish companies, such as Molnlycke Health Care, Aleris and Grand Hotel, with minority stakes in in global listed companies such as such as Atlas Copco, ABB, SEB, AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Electrolux, Saab, NASDAX OMX, Husqvarna and Saab. Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), founded in 1995, is a leading provider of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. With nearly $10 billion in capital raised, TCV has invested in more than 200 technology companies over the last 20 years. Selected investments include Altiris, C|NET, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, FX Alliance, GoDaddy, Genesys Software, Groupon, HomeAway, Netflix, RealNetworks, Redback Networks, Rent the Runway, RiskMetrics Group, Sitecore, Splunk, Spotify, Thinkorswim, VICE Media and Zillow. TCV is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in New York and London. Photo: For nearly 130 years, Täcka Udden has been the private residence of Sweden’s most famous of business dynasties: the Wallenbergs. Surrounded by towering hedges and trees, the secluded setting fits the family motto:
Esse non videri – “To be, but not be seen.”]]>