Buyout shop Cinven joins forces with rivals to snap up software

 
Michael Bow
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THE BIGGEST European-focused private equity firm in the world has taken a stake in a Nordic-based business software company.

Cinven has taken a 33.1 per cent stake in Norwegian firm Visma, which makes software for around 340,000 businesses.

The complex transaction will see Visma’s controlling shareholder US private equity giant KKR, which owns 76 per cent, cut its stake to a third.

UK-based private equity firm HgCapital will also sell down its current 16 per cent holding in the company but come back to the table by re-investing £405m raised through a new fund, giving it about a third of the company.

The deal, which also gives management a six per cent stake in the business, values the company at about €2.5bn (£2bn).

“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,” Visma boss Oystein Moan said in a statement yesterday.

Last year Visma made revenues of €778.5m. In total, the company has made 75 bolt-on acquisitions since it was bought in 2006.