European private equity firm Cinven today announces that it has agreed to invest in Visma AS ('Visma' or 'the Group'), a leading software and business process outsourcing (BPO) services business in the Nordic region, valuing the business at a total enterprise value of NOK 21 billion (€2.5 billion).

Following this investment, Cinven, HgCapital and KKR will be co-lead investors each with a 31.3% shareholding in the Group. Shareholders will also include Nordic institutional investors Ilmarinen and Storebrand, along with Visma management.

Visma delivers enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and services including accounting, tax and payroll applications and services to over 340,000 SME customers, retailers and local authorities across the Nordic region. The Group is the Nordic leader in the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model which allows companies to shift from traditional 'on premise' software to online cloud-based applications.

In 2013, the Group generated revenues of NOK 6.5 billion (€778.5 million). Since 2010, revenues and EBITDA have grown consistently at a CAGR of 16% and 18% respectively. Established in 1996, Visma is headquartered in Oslo and operates in 12 countries across Northern Europe. It employs more than 5,600 people.

Cinven's TMT team regards Visma as an attractive investment on the basis of:

  • Its delivery of mission-critical software to a wide customer base through a subscription-based model with high recurring revenues;
  • Its market leading position in the Nordic region with the opportunity for further organic and acquisitive growth;
  • Significant growth potential in SaaS as companies migrate their legacy applications to improve business administration and process efficiencies;
  • The ability to boost growth through continued R&D investment, accelerating customer migration from legacy to SaaS and developing new functional services.

The management team will continue to be led by Øystein Moan, Chief Executive, who joined the Group in 1997 and has led Visma to become one of the most innovative companies in the Nordic region.

On the Group's new share structure, KKR will sell down from 76% but will retain a significant ownership of 31.3% in the business.  HgCapital, which has 16% of the shares now will sell out, but will reinvest through a new fund bringing its shareholding to 31.3%. HgCapital and KKR will partner with Cinven who will also hold 31.3% of the shares. The Visma management will own 6% of the shares. Several Nordic investors will co-invest with the private equity investors.

David Barker, Partner at Cinven, said:

"We are excited to be backing a first class management team as they execute a strategy for further growth from SaaS penetration in the Nordic region. Visma represents a great opportunity to invest in a highly cash generative and stable business with strong organic and acquisitive growth prospects. We believe that the ERP software market is highly attractive and we have been following Visma for a long time."

Chris Good, Principal at Cinven, added:

"Visma is a regional champion at the forefront of the technological shift transforming the global software sector. We believe the Cinven team is well placed to support the Group through its next stage of growth, particularly given our track record of investing successfully in technology-driven companies including Amadeus, Host Europe and CPA Global."

Øystein Moan, Chief Executive, commented:

"Our company has become a real Nordic success story. We have built a strong track record of consistent high revenue and profit growth, supported by product innovation including cloud-based business solutions and E-government solutions. Such a journey is not possible without the right shareholder base and support. I strongly feel that the mix of private equity investors and the Visma management team serves us very well in the realisation of our ambitions."

Visma represents the eighth investment from Cinven's Fifth Fund. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals.

Advisors to Cinven on this transaction included: OC&C (commercial); E&Y (financial); Deloitte (tax); Freshfields and Thommessen (legal).

Related news

29 June 2017 Cinven generates successful partial realisation of Visma 19 April 2017 Visma acquires NYCE Solutions 15 March 2017 Visma acquires Davilex 20 December 2016 Visma acquires Cox Consulting Oy and strengthens the role in the Finnish business intelligence market 23 November 2016 Visma acquires the accounting software Dinero 28 October 2016 Q3 2016 Quarterly Report 19 September 2016 Divestiture of the Visma BPO division 27 June 2016 Visma will not prolong the acceptance period and will thus not complete its offer for Fortnox 23 May 2016 Fortnox acceptance period further extended to 28 June 2016 12 May 2016 Visma acquires EasyCruit from Lumesse to strengthen its position within recruitment cloud solutions 26 April 2016 Hungarian franchise chain COOP selects Visma Retail as provider of Retail IT 20 April 2016 Growth in revenue and EBITDA for Visma in the first quarter 15 April 2016 Visma acquires StarSoft Oy, the leading school administration software provider in Finland. 14 March 2016 Visma announces a recommended public cash offer to the shareholders in Fortnox 02 February 2016 Visma acquires Numeron Oy, a leading workforce management software provider in Finland. 26 January 2016 Visma acquires MIND4iT 26 January 2016 Visma with excellent top-line revenue and profit growth 18 January 2016 Visma acquires Trimma 07 December 2015 Visma acquires Abalon 01 December 2015 Visma expands to online booking systems by acquiring DigitalBooker 20 August 2015 Visma acquires Aditro Public AB, a leading HRM and FRM software provider in Sweden 11 May 2015 Visma strengthens Nordic leadership in cloud based ERP 07 May 2015 Visma acquires PBJ, leading HRM software provider in Denmark 17 March 2015 Visma Retail enters the Turkish market 09 March 2015 Visma strengthens its focus on HRM solutions 11 December 2014 Visma acquires two Norwegian companies and strengthens the focus on cloud-based solutions for year-end accounts production 28 November 2014 Visma acquires Creno AS and strengthens the focus on debt collection in Norway 30 October 2014 Cloud services continues to dominate Visma’s growth in Q3