Unit4 announces strategic growth buyout by TA Associates for a transaction value in excess of US$2 billion
- Partnership with TA will accelerate Unit4’s global growth ambitions, both organically through cloud-based product innovation and through M&A to unlock new markets and industries
LONDON, March 22, 2021 — Unit4, a global leader in enterprise cloud software for people-centric organizations, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to receive a majority investment from TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm. Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, will invest alongside TA, on behalf of its clients. Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4, will continue to lead the company, supported by the existing management team. Advent International, the current majority shareholder in Unit4, will exit its stake in the company.
Unit4 and TA will partner to further accelerate the company’s vision of “people-centric ERP” (Enterprise Resource Planning) for mid-market enterprise organizations. As a leader that innovates for and serves people-based services industries including professional services, public sector, nonprofit and higher education, this partnership with TA will help Unit4 address the specific challenges and requirements of organizations in these industries globally.
“Our partnership with TA and Partners Group couldn’t come at a better time. With the launch of ERPx, our next generation cloud-native ERP platform, expansion of our global partner ecosystem, the creation of a strong and viable customer community with Community 4U, and deeper “people” investment in our core and growth markets, Unit4 is poised to see dramatic growth through this next phase of our journey,” said Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4. “Our customers have expressed a need for rapid innovation, not just efficiencies, to support their growth aspirations while continuing to navigate the headwinds of the global pandemic. We believe our game-changing software and people-first, services-based mindset will help our customers thrive as the market begins to regain its momentum.”
“We have followed Unit4 for many years and have been impressed with the company’s growth and dedication, under Mike’s leadership, to serving mid-market, people-centric organizations, which aligns well with our investment philosophy,” said Morgan Seigler, a Managing Director of TA and co-head of TA’s Europe Technology Group. “We are excited to partner with Mike and the Unit4 team in the next phase of their journey and to help them invest in and deliver industry-relevant enterprise solutions that drive retention, expansion and growth in organizations across the globe.”
“Unit4 is a high-quality software solutions business with strong fundamentals and significant potential for transformative growth. TA is a firm we know very well, and we are delighted to partner with them on acquiring this exciting business,” added Bilge Ogut, Partner, Global Head Private Equity Technology, Partners Group.
The transaction is expected to close in early summer of 2021 pending customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Arma Partners and Evercore are serving as financial advisors and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek is acting as legal counsel to Unit4. Alvarez & Marsal is serving as financial and tax advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis is acting as legal counsel to TA Associates.
About Advent International
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 350 private equity transactions in 41 countries, and as of September 30, 2020, had $66.2 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 200 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.
Unit4’s next-generation enterprise software supports our customers in delivering an exceptional People Experience to their own customers – from students and professionals to the citizens and constituents they serve. Unit4 transforms work to be more meaningful and inspiring through software that’s self-driving, adaptive and intuitive, intelligently automating administrative tasks while providing easy access to the answers people need. Unit4 works with people the way people work.
About TA Associates
TA is a leading global growth private equity firm. Focused on targeted sectors within five industries – technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services – the firm invests in profitable, growing companies with opportunities for sustained growth, and has invested in more than 500 companies around the world. Investing as either a majority or minority investor, TA employs a long-term approach, utilizing its strategic resources to help management teams build lasting value in high quality growth companies. TA has raised $33.5 billion in capital since its founding in 1968 and is committing to new investments at the pace of over $3 billion per year. The firm’s more than 100 investment professionals are based in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong.
More information about TA can be found at www.ta.com.
About Partners Group
Partners Group is a leading global private markets investment manager. Since 1996, the firm has invested over USD 145 billion in private equity, private real estate, private debt and private infrastructure on behalf of its clients globally. Partners Group is a committed, responsible investor and aims to create broad stakeholder impact through its active ownership and development of growing businesses, attractive real estate and essential infrastructure. With over USD 109 billion in assets under management as of 31 December 2020, Partners Group serves a broad range of institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, family offices and private individuals globally. The firm employs more than 1,500 diverse professionals across 20 offices worldwide and has regional headquarters in Baar-Zug, Switzerland; Denver, USA; and Singapore. It has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since 2006 (symbol: PGHN).
For Advent International:
Graeme Wilson or
Tel: +44 (0)20 7353 4200
For TA Associates:
+44 203 475 7552