KKR to become new majority owner of Visma 

Visma has today announced that Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts ("KKR") has entered into an agreement to acquire a 76.9% ownership in Visma Holding ("Visma"), the leading software and BPO services business in the Nordic region.

The transaction values Visma at an enterprise value of NOK 11 billion. KKR is the world’s leading private equity investment fund with over 900.000 employees in their portfolio companies. Visma is KKR’s first investment in Norway. KKR is already the leading investor in other well-known companies as Tele Denmark, Boots Alliance and Toys’R’Us.

HgCapital, the previous majority owner of Visma, will retain a significant minority ownership of 17.7% in the business and partner with KKR and management to develop Visma going forward. Management of Visma will increase its ownership in the business to 5.3%.

Through this transaction there will be no change in the management or the strategy of Visma: KKR wants 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 to achieve business efficiency will still be the main strategy of Visma.

Since taking Visma private through a public offer in 2006, management has worked closely with HgCapital to grow the business both organically and through acquisitions. During this period, Visma has completed more than 25 acquisitions and grew total revenues by an average of 16% per year (with an average of 10% organic growth per year in the period).

Over the same period, operating margins improved from 14% to 20%, whilst Visma’s operational performance proved resilient through the recent recession, with revenues and EBITDA growing by 11% and 23%, respectively, in 2009 alone. Furthermore, the number of employees increased from 2,512 to 4,050 during this period of high growth.

Commenting on the transaction, Øystein Moan, CEO of Visma, said "We are very satisfied with the development of Visma during our partnership with HgCapital and are pleased to have a prestigious global firm such as KKR as the new majority owner of Visma. The new ownership will further strengthen Visma's ability to grow and we look forward to the future working relationship with KKR and HgCapital."

Nic Humphries, CEO of HgCapital, added “Visma is the latest successful example of our ongoing investment focus on companies with predictable revenues, protected business models, platforms for growth and opportunities for performance improvement. Our deep sub-sector knowledge enabled us to bring the knowledge of a trade partner to Visma’s management, with the added flexibility and investment horizons of a financial buyer. Our partial exit allows us to maintain exposure to the significant further upside that we see in Visma over the coming years. It is another example of us backing strong, high growth businesses with world class management teams."

Mati Szeszkowski, leader of the KKR Technology Team in Europe, said: “KKR is delighted to be partnering with Hg Capital and Visma. Our technology team has been following Visma for some time and when we had the opportunity to further interact with the management team, we became even more impressed by the strength of its franchise and quality of the management. Visma is a high quality and well-managed business with a proven track record of driving organic and inorganic growth. There is no doubt that the company has a bright future, and we are excited about the prospect of working with Hg Capital, DnBNOR and Danske as the financing partners, and the management team to support Visma through the next stage of its development,”

As a result of the transaction, the previously announced IPO of Visma during 2011 is postponed. ABG Sundal Collier, Morgan Stanley and UBS acted as financial advisors to Visma and HgCapital in the transaction.

Visma has also put together a significant new banking facility with DnB NOR and Fokus/Danske bank, as part of the transaction, enabling the company to continue it’s growth strategy.

For further details, please contact:
Øystein Moan, CEO, Visma AS, +47 920 80 000


About Visma

Visma is the leading provider of business software and business processes for accounting & payroll. The group comprises five business areas which are Visma Software, Visma BPO Accounting & Payroll, Visma Procurement & Collecting, Visma Retail and Visma System Development & Integration. As one of few suppliers to combine software and BPO services, Visma has been a Nordic and European consolidator as the products and services have become increasingly popular among the company’s more than 220,000 customers. Today, Visma is known for developing leading software solutions and high-quality services for satisfied customers in combination with financial strength and solid growth. The objective is to make the customers more efficient and competitive through freedom of choice between software solutions and outsourcing services. Visma is headquartered in Oslo, Norway. The Visma Group is represented in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Romania and the UK.

About KKR

Established in 1976, KKR is a leading global alternative asset manager. Led by its founders, Henry Kravis and George Roberts, who are pioneers of the leveraged buyout industry, KKR specializes in large, complex buyouts. KKR is a global firm with industry-leading private equity experience, in-depth industry knowledge, sophisticated processes for growing and improving businesses, and a strong culture committed to teamwork and sharing information across offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia. For further details pls. see  www.kkr.com.

About HgCapital

HgCapital is a sector focused private equity investor in the European mid-market. The Partnership focuses on investments with enterprise values ranging from £50-£500 million. Its business model combines sector specialization with dedicated, pro-active support to portfolio companies and the corresponding management expertise across all phases of the investment process. HgCapital manages over £3 billion for some of the world’s leading institutional and private investors. For further details, please see www.hgcapital.com.