Successful realisation further strengthens Cinven’s industry-leading TMT track record

International private equity firm Cinven today announces that it has agreed to sell its remaining stake in Visma (‘the Group') to Hg and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for an undisclosed consideration. This transaction represents Cinven’s final realisation of Visma, following its partial realisation to an Hg-led consortium in June 2017.

Visma is a leading provider of business-critical software including accounting, tax and payroll applications to small and medium sized enterprises (‘SMEs’), retailers and local authorities across the Nordic, Benelux and Baltic regions. Cinven's TMT team identified Visma as an attractive investment opportunity given its market leading position in the Nordic region, delivery of mission-critical software to a wide customer base, subscription model with high recurring revenues and significant growth potential as customers migrate their legacy ‘on premise’ software applications to online cloud-based applications. Having followed Visma since 2008, Cinven ultimately invested in Visma in 2014.

Since 2014, Cinven has worked closely with Visma’s industry-leading management team and its co-shareholders to generate strong financial performance, with revenue growth of more than 25% per annum, alongside transforming the Group into a more “pure-play” cloud based solutions provider, driving a premium exit valuation for Cinven. Key achievements under Cinven’s ownership include:

  • Executing a successful bolt-on acquisition strategy, with more than 80 acquisitions completed in the Nordic, Benelux and Baltic regions;
  • Delivering strong underlying trading growth through investment in Visma’s marketing capabilities and infrastructure to capitalise on cross- and up-sell opportunities across Visma’s extensive product portfolio;
  • Accelerating the transition of the business from traditional ‘on premise’ software to cloud based solutions, with software-as-a-service (‘SaaS’) and SaaS-like revenues representing more than 40% of the business today (vs. c. 10% at acquisition); and
  • Rationalising the Group through the sale of non-core divisions, including Visma’s Hosting business, BPO business and certain divisions within its Retail business.

Chris Good, Partner at Cinven, said:

“Øystein and his outstanding team is creating quite simply the best financial and accounting-focused software business in Northern Europe. We have been proud to be part of the progress the company has made over the last five years, supporting over 80 acquisitions and investing behind an exciting expansion in both the regions in which it operates and its product portfolio.”

Øystein Moan, Group CEO of Visma, commented:

"It has been great working with Cinven. The Cinven team has demonstrated an excellent understanding of our business and the market and helped us reshape our organisation to drive significant growth. The business has been truly transformed into a leading SaaS business in Europe, and is in a very strong position today, largely as a result of the support from Cinven and our other co-investors.”

The successful realisation of Visma reinforces Cinven’s strong TMT track record, with recent realisations including Ufinet Group, HEG and Numericable. Alongside these successful realisations, Cinven’s TMT team has continued to actively invest in the sector, with recent acquisitions including RTB House, One.com, Ufinet International and Allegro.

Completion of the transaction is expected to take place in Q2 2019. Cinven was advised on this transaction by Freshfields.

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