Visma Group Holdings (“Visma”), the Nordic region’s leading provider of business management software and services announced today that its shareholder structure, valuing the enterprise at NOK 21 billion, is now comprised of the private equity investors Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (“KKR”), HgCapital and Cinven as co-lead shareholders, each with an equal stake in the business; Nordic institutional investors, including Ilmarinen, the leading Finnish earnings-related pension insurer and Storebrand, the leading Norwegian life insurance and pension savings company as co-investors with private equity investors; and the Visma management including more than 200 managers.
KKR, the previous majority owner of Visma, will sell down from 76%, but retain a significant ownership of 31,3 % in the business. HgCapital, which has 16% of the shares now will sell out, but will re-invest with a new fund bringing them to 31,3%. HgCapital and KKR will partner with the new investor Cinven that also will hold 31,3%. Management of Visma will own 6% of the shares in Visma. Several Nordic institutional investors will co-invest with the private equity investors.
Through this transaction, there will be no change in the management or the strategy of Visma. The new owners want to develop Visma in accordance with the existing strategy and continue the rapid growth of Visma. High quality products and services, good customer care and innovations within cloud services to achieve business efficiency will still be the main strategy of Visma.
Oystein Moan, CEO of Visma said:
“Our company is 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, leading institutional investors and the Visma management team serves us very well in the realization of our ambitions. I am pleased by the increasing role of the Nordic institutional investor base and find this recognises the standing of our company.”
Nic Humphries, Managing Partner and Head of TMT of HgCapital said:
“HgCapital has been a partner for Visma over the past 8 years and the company is a highly successful example of our investment focus on companies with predictable revenues and high levels of intellectual property that provide platforms for growth significantly ahead of GDP growth. We are delighted to be backing the management going forward.”
Henrik Kraft, Partner, head of the European technology and telecommunications team and head of Nordic operations of KKR said:
“Quite simply, Oystein Moan and his team are creating a true Nordic Champion and we are proud to be part of the journey, supporting the team and the company in any way we can through our global network and expertise in technology.”
David Barker, Partner and Head of the TMT team at Cinven, said:
“Visma is a great business, run by a first class management team. We are very excited to be investing and will be focused on supporting the company’s growth, drawing on our significant experience through our technology-related and Nordic investments.”
Since taking Visma private through a public offer in 2006, management has worked closely with HgCapital and subsequently KKR to grow the business both organically and through acquisitions. During this period, Visma has built an impressive track record of growth, based on continuous investment in employment and research and development. More than 75 bolt-on acquisitions were completed and total revenues grew from NOK 2 306m in 2006 to NOK 6 452m in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 16%. EBITDA increased from NOK 305m in 2006 to NOK 1 325m in 2013, a compound annual growth rate of 23%. Furthermore, the number of employees increased from 2,512 to 5,648 during this period of high growth.
HgCapital, KKR and the management shareholders of Visma were advised on the sale by ABG Sundal Collier, Morgan Stanley, Schjødt, Simpson Thatcher and White and Case.