UPDATED July 6, 2016.
Private equity firm Apax Partners is said to be exploring an exit strategy for its Austin, Texas-based global enterprise software portfolio company Epicor Software Corp., The Wall Street Journal reported. The move comes amid a recent flurry of business software company buyouts. Less than a month ago, New York-based private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC agreed to acquire Qlik Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: QLIK), a leader in visual analytics and data visualization, for $3 billion. In May, Israeli enterprise software solutions provider NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE) agreed to acquire Salt Lake City, Utah-based inContact Inc. (NASDAQ: SAAS), a leading provider of cloud contact center software, for $940 million. In late March, Vista Equity Partners agreed to acquire San Mateo, Calif.-based marketing automation platform Marketo Inc. (NASDAQ: MKTO), for $1.79 million. Founded in 1972, Epicor has over 33,000 customers in more than 150 countries around the world. Epicor provides industry-specific business software designed around the needs of manufacturing, distribution, retail, and services organizations. Epicor provides enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) software to business customers in both Software as a Service (SaaS) and On-Premises deployment models. Epicor chief executive Joe Cowan said the interest from private-equity buyers is “no surprise” given the company’s “strong performance and market leadership,” according to the Journal. “We’ll consider those expressions of interest. As we do so, we’ll be guided by what makes the most sense for the company and our customers.” Apax Partners, headquartered in London, is an independent global partnership focused solely on long-term investment in growth companies. the firm typically invests in large companies with an enterprise value between €1bn and €5bn, in four sectors: Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare, and Consumer. The firm has a global network of 8 offices in four continents and employs over 230 people. At December 31, 2015, the firm, including its various predecessors, have raised approximately $38 billion (€35bn) dating back to 1969. Apax Partners is one of the oldest and largest private equity firms operating on an international basis. In April 2011, Apax acquired both Epicor (formerly NASDAQ: EPIC) and business management software provider Activant Solutions Inc., in a deal valued at $2 billion, and combined the two companies. Apax invested $647 million equity into the deals, an SEC filing said. In 2014, Apax explored the sale of Epicor, but ultimately chose not to sell, turning down offers it deemed too low from bidders including CVC Capital Partners. Some bids were around $3 billion including debt, the Journal reported. In May 2015, Epicor was in the market with “a $1.4 billion covenant-lite term loan that is part of a $1.5 billion dividend recap credit,” Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp said. Proceeds were to be used reportedly to refinance and recap Epicor’s existing debt as well as pay a distribution to its parent Apax. Standard & Poor’s said the dividend to Apax was $300 million, on top of a $380 million distribution Epicor made to Apax in June 2013. The $680 million dividend was greater than the $647 million it invested. Apax reportedly received a third dividend from Epicor RSG US Inc., a business unit which was reportedly spun off into a separate, privately held company backed by Apax, Moody’s said in May 2015.]]>