CPA Global

Activity
Intellectual property management and software
Acquired
Mar 2012
Realised
Nov 2017
Sector
Business Services
CPA Global

Business
CPA Global is the world leader in software, services and data to the Intellectual Property sector. Its mission is to support the day-to-day delivery of IP tasks for corporations and law firms. The company offers an integrated suite of IP software, services and information, enabling clients to make better IP choices.

CPA Global was founded in 1969 and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide. It has offices across Europe, North America and Asia, including substantial operations in India.

The nature of CPA Global's business affords it high revenue and earnings visibility, as a result of the large stock of patents managed by the company that require annual renewal. CPA Global renews more than 1.7 million patents each year, almost twice the amount of its nearest competitor. CPA Global is also the market-leading provider of IP management software, and its software is integrated with and supports the patent renewals service. The business-critical nature of IP protection means CPA Global's business model is both highly defensive, and experiencing structural growth. 

Demand for IP protection is a large and growing market, driven by long-term growth in R&D expenditure, and the growing value of innovative technology. As a result, there is an increasing propensity for corporations to protect their IP through patents, and the number of patents in force globally continues to grow steadily every year.

Strategy
Cinven's strategy for CPA Global is to support its organic growth with a focus on operational excellence, drawing on experience from Cinven's highly successful investments in Amadeus and Phadia. The company has invested significantly in software development and has added patent information and analytics to its comprehensive product suite to support and enhance the core business.

In addition, Cinven is working with CPA Global's management team to further expand into emerging markets, Asia in particular, which is a strong growth market for IP-related services.

Specific areas of strategic focus include:

  • Investment in software development.
  • Extending into new adjacent markets, such as IP data and analytics.
  • Improving sales force effectiveness.
  • Accelerating growth in emerging markets, with support from Cinven's Portfolio team in Asia.

Progress
CPA Global has reinforced its strong position in the core business of Patent Renewals, widened its product suite, accelerated growth in adjacent areas of IP Software and Services, and continued to expand internationally to capture rapid growth in the IP market.

Since Cinven's investment, the company has opened new offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America. Most recently, in June 2015 it opened a Beijing office, its third office in Mainland China. 

The company has made several small bolt-on acquisitions, including the acquisition of premier US-based IP intelligence software provider Innography, which further strengthened the technology and analytics capabilities whilst achieving the objective to offer end-to-end IP support across the lifecycle.

CPA Global is redefining innovation and IP management in the industry through their new technology platform for innovation and IP management which offers a unified and connected view of all IP information, workflows and tasks. In addition the company's management team has been strengthened, including the appointment of Simon Webster, a long-serving member of CPA Global's senior management team, as CEO in 2015.

In November 2017 Cinven sold CPA Global for an undisclosed consideration.