Swedish PE firm EQT Partners has agreed to purchase 100 percent of Austrian IT automation software developer UC4, currently valued at around EUR 220 mln (USD 271.3 mln). UC4′s founder, Frank Beranek, will also be selling his stake in the company, along with main investors, the Carlyle Group. Carlyle first acquired the company in 2006 and has since received 3X its investment, an impressive returns benchmark that exceeds industry standards. The deal is unique in that a European company has been bought out by another European group; such investments are typically grabbed up by bullish U.S. buyers. It also highlights the fact that European software companies are fast coming into the limelight and attracting big investors. The investment is being made through the EQT VI Fund, and a reinvestment will also be made in the company; European lenders have expressed their interest in underwriting the debt commitment. After Carlyle’s 2006 investment in UC4, the latter has gone through several mergers: with AppWorx in 2007, Senactive in 2009 and Ventum Solutions in 2011. It’s revenue growth has also shown impressive numbers – EUR 62 mln as of April 2012, with an Ebitda margin of around 25 percent. The investment will further allow for expansion in the cloud automation segment, which is already a rapid-growth market.
Among independently-held companies, the Austrian UC4 Software is the global leader in process automation software. The company helps migrate businesses’ IT environments to the cloud, and it already has over 2,000 blue-chip companies using its services. Unified process automation is already proving itself by its ability to help IT departments cut cost, gain better control and ensure higher levels of service delivery. Founded in 1985, UC4 brings 25 years of automation experience to its clients; starting with its first product, an automated multiplatform job scheduler, UC4 now offers the powerful ONE Automation platform that unifies workload, app release and app process, run-book, data transfer and VM automation, by using complex event-processing for predictive analytics.