Private Equity Firms to Buy Activant Solutions

Activant Solutions Inc., Austin, TX, (purchased Prophet 21 in September 2005) has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by private equity investment firms Hellman & Friedman LLC and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners.  The firms will acquire Activant Solutions Holdings Inc and all its subsidiaries from investment funds affiliated with HM Capital Partners LLC, which have approved the transaction.

Activant serves small- and medium-sized retail and wholesale distribution businesses. Activant provides customers with software, professional services, content, supply chain connectivity and analytics. More than 30,000 customer locations use an Activant solution to manage their day-to-day operations.

“Over the past year, Activant has been on a steady and fast-paced climb in the market through organic growth and acquisitions,” said Larry Jones, CEO of Activant Solutions.  “While we have looked at a number of strategic options to best position the company for the future, we believe we have found the right partners in Hellman & Friedman and Thoma Cressey to continue the company’s success.”

David Tunnell, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, said, “We are very impressed with Activant’s market leading position, vertical market expertise and strong management team.”

The transaction is expected to close during Activant’s third fiscal quarter ending June 30, 2006.

Activant bought Canada-based Speedware Corporation Inc., which provides software for lumber merchants, in March 2005, and in September bought Prophet 21 Inc., which provides software for wholesale distribution companies. It had considered an IPO last year before but abandoned the plan before buying Prophet 21, according to news reports.

Interestingly, Thoma Cressey with LLR Partners Inc., Philadelphia, PA, originally took Prophet 21 private in November 2002. Prophet 21 (now under Activant’s umbrella) is back in Thoma Cressey’s hands.

Hellman & Friedman LLC is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with additional offices in New York and London. Since its founding in 1984, the firm has raised and through its affiliated funds managed over $8 billion of committed capital.

Thoma Cressey Equity Partners is a private equity investment firm that has been providing equity and strategic support to experienced management teams building growing companies for more than 25 years. In the software industry, Thoma Cressey has amassed a portfolio of software earnings in excess of $150 million. Thoma Cressey currently manages approximately $2 billion of equity capital.

Related Stories:
Activant Buys Prophet 21
Activant Acquires The Systems House
Activant to Acquire Speedware
Management Buyout to Take Prophet 21 Private

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