GIC joins HgCapital-led Visma buyout

Sovereign wealth fund GIC has acquired a minority stake in Visma, which provides accounting, payroll and human resources software to small and medium-sized enterprises in the Nordic region.

GIC has invested alongside three private equity funds, HgCapital, Montagu and Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), said a statement on Thursday.

The group is collectively acquiring all of private equity firm KKR's stake in Visma and 40 per cent of Cinven's holdings.

Once the deal is completed, HgCapital will hold 41 per cent of Visma and GIC, 12 per cent, the Financial Times reported.

Other investors, including Cinven, Montagu and ICG, will together retain roughly 38 per cent while Visma's management will retain about 7 per cent.

GIC said it has invested in Visma in view of the attractive growth profile, resilient business model and strong management team.

Visma is one of Europe's leading software service providers to SMEs and the public sector in Europe, with the potential to accelerate this growth through investment and acquisitions.

"We look forward to working towards pan-European expansion and transformation to a pure cloud computing company together with HgCapital, Cinven, GIC, Montagu and ICG," said Visma chief executive Oystein Moan.

"This global network and access to capital will be important when developing and growing Visma over the coming years."

HgCapital, which has been a key shareholder in Visma for the past 11 years, will invest a further £238 million (S$426 million) as part of the buyout.

This values the total business at NOK45 billion (SS$7.3 billion).

The transaction is the largest software buyout in Europe and one of the top 5 globally, HgCapital said.

"We have been incredibly fortunate to partner with Mr Moan and his exceptional management team over the last 11 years," said Mr Nic Humphries, senior partner at HgCapital.

"They and we have an exciting vision for the business, which sees us delivering an ever-increasing number of products and services to our millions of customers."

GIC is a leading global investment firm with well over US$100 billion (S$137.7 billion) in assets under management and investments in more than 40 countries.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'GIC joins HgCapital-led Visma buyout'. Print Edition | Subscribe