Divestiture of Visma’s hosting business
Monday, June 18, 2018
After several years of steady growth, Visma has sold market-leading mass hosting providers Loopia and Active 24 to Axcel to focus on its development as a pure SaaS provider.
“The mass hosting business has had a good development over the last years, and Visma owners and management now believe that the business can develop even faster and better independent of Visma,” said Visma CEO Øystein Moan.
By selling, the Visma group continues its focused development as a “pure-play” SaaS/software business. Visma has grown fast organically and through over 160 acquisitions to become the largest software company in Northern Europe and the leading cloud company for business customers in Europe.
“Visma will use the proceeds from the sale of the hosting business, combined with its already strong resources, to continue to grow rapidly both organically and via acquisition,” continued Moan.
Loopia and Active 24 offer web domains, shared web hosting and value-added services such as security, e-commerce and Microsoft Office 365. The products are sold online on a prepaid subscription basis to around 350.000 SME and prosumer customers across primarily Sweden and the Czech Republic, with a further presence in Norway, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and UK. The business has been owned by Visma and is headed by John Hugosson as CEO.
“After several years of improved profitability and strong growth, the next step in our development is to increase our market share in existing markets through growth in value-added services and to pursue acquisitions in existing as well as new markets,” said John Hugosson. “It is an ideal time to partner with an active investor like Axcel that can help us realise our strategic plan. Axcel has significant experience in expanding technology businesses organically as well as acquisitively, and I am convinced that together we can take Loopia and Active 24 to the next level.”
The company has performed particularly well in recent years by consolidating its existing platforms, improving profitability, and growing organically. Furthermore, it has proven that it can grow profitably through acquisitions.
“John and his team have managed to grow the business while creating a scalable foundation for an aggressive organic as well as an acquisitive expansion,” said Partner Christian Bamberger Bro, responsible for the investment at Axcel. “There is real potential for further expansion in existing markets by increasing sales of value-added services to existing customers and further expansion by consolidating, in particular, existing geographic markets, but also new geographic markets across Europe. We look forward to realising the company’s strategy together with John and his team.”
Founded in 1994, Axcel is a Nordic private equity firm focusing on mid-market companies and has a broad base of both Nordic and international investors. Axcel has raised five funds with total committed capital of just over EUR 2.0 billion. These funds have made 52 platform investments, with almost 100 major add-on investments and 39 exits. Axcel currently owns 13 companies with combined annual revenue of around EUR 1.4 billion and some 6,300 employees.
About Loopia and Active 24
Founded in 1998, the company is a market leading mass hosting provider offering domains, shared web hosting, and value-added services. The business sells its products directly online on a prepaid subscription basis to a growing customer base consisting of around 350,000 SMEs and prosumers. The products are sold through the Loopia brand in Sweden and through the Active 24 brand in the Czech Republic and have limited sales in other European geographic markets. The company’s headquarters are located in Västerås, Sweden.
For more information, please contact:
Øystein Moan, CEO Visma Group, tel.:+47 92 08 00 00, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christian Bamberger Bro, Partner Axcel, tel.: +45 4099 3939, email@example.com
John Hugosson, CEO Loopia and Active 24, tel.: +4792863916, firstname.lastname@example.org