ECI Software Solutions (“ECI”), a leader in cloud-based business management software solutions for small and medium sized companies, today announced that Leonard Green & Partners (“LGP”) will acquire a majority stake in the company from funds advised by Apax Partners and The Carlyle Group. Upon completion of the transaction, funds advised by Apax Partners, which acquired ECI in 2017, will retain a minority stake in ECI. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
ECI is the premier provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”) solutions, such as accounting, purchasing, warehousing and inventory management, to more than 22,000 customers globally. Under the Apax Funds’ and Carlyle’s ownership, ECI has experienced rapid growth both organically and through strategic M&A. Since 2017, ECI has made 15 acquisitions, helping it gain significant market share and scale internationally, with sizeable transactions in Europe and Australia consolidating its presence in those regions.
"The ECI team and I have had a powerful partnership with Apax and Carlyle as we have built the company into a leading SaaS business software solutions and services provider," said Ron Books, ECI's Chief Executive Officer. "They have been instrumental in the tremendous growth of our company, and we are proud of what we accomplished together. We are excited to welcome LGP as our new partner, and I am confident that this is the right choice for our future – and the future of our 1,700 employees and more than 22,000 customers."
Usama Cortas, Partner at LGP, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with a mission-driven company like ECI, which is focused on supporting the activities and growth of small to medium-sized businesses around the world. We invest in companies that win with people, have a differentiated culture and are market leaders with multiple ways to grow – and ECI is the perfect example. ECI has built an incredible track record of success, and we are excited to be partnering with ECI Management and Apax to support and accelerate the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Jason Wright, Partner at Apax Partners, said “We have been proud to partner with Ron Books and the ECI management team over the past three years as they have executed their plan and transformed the Company through investment in products, international expansion and the completion of 15 acquisitions. Importantly, Ron and the team have instilled a unique culture that is customer-centric and employee-friendly. We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with LGP during this next phase of ECI’s growth.”
Steve Bailey, Managing Director at Carlyle, said: “It has been a tremendous journey with Ron and the ECI team and Apax over the years. Carlyle’s strategy is to focus on vertical market SaaS investments or successfully transition software businesses to a SaaS model. Our partnership with ECI is a great example of the latter. Through embracing the opportunity in SaaS, ECI has accelerated its growth while also benefitting from strategic acquisitions. We wish the team every success for the future.”
BofA Securities is acting as lead financial advisor, Barclays as financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom as legal advisor to Apax Partners and ECI. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to LGP.
ECI Software Solutions provides industry-specific business software solutions and services, focusing on cloud-based technologies. For 30+ years, ECI has served small to medium-sized manufacturing, wholesale/retail distribution, building and construction and field service organizations. Privately held, ECI is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, with offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, the Netherlands and Australia. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.ECISolutions.com or call (800) 959-3367.
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Apax Partners is a leading global private equity advisory firm. Over its more than 40-year history, Apax Partners has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of approximately $50 billion. The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Tech & Telco, Services, Healthcare and Consumer. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For more information see: www.apax.com.
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across four business segments: Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $230 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2020, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. Carlyle employs more than 1,800 people in 30 offices across six continents. Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow Carlyle on Twitter @OneCarlyle.
Leonard Green & Partners, L.P. is a leading private equity investment firm founded in 1989 and based in Los Angeles. The firm partners with experienced management teams and often with founders to invest in market-leading companies. Since inception, LGP has invested in over 100 companies in the form of traditional buyouts, going-private transactions, recapitalizations, growth equity, and selective public equity and debt positions. LGP primarily focuses on companies providing services, including consumer, business, and healthcare services, as well as retail, distribution, and industrials. For more information, please visit www.leonardgreen.com.