Enterprise Applications Provider Unit4 Is Acquired By Private Equity Firm

Unit4 is a provider of enterprise applications empowering people in service organizations. The Netherlands-based company was founded in 1980 and offers a next-generation enterprise software that supports its customers in delivering an exceptional experience to their own customers, which span students, professionals, and others.

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In 2014, private equity investor Advent International acquired Unit4 in a $1.6 billion deal and in 2015 it partnered with Microsoft to create self-driving business applications.

Now, Advent has announced that it has sold Unit4 to private equity firm TA Associates in a deal that’s valued at over $2 billion. TA Associates backs companies in the business services, consumer, financial services, healthcare, and technology sectors. It has raised $33.5 billion in capital since it was founded in 1968. TA Associates has invested in over 500 companies, and its portfolio includes ATM operator Cardtronics Plc and database software firm Idera, among others.

In November 2020, talks about Advent being in discussions with a SPAC about listing Unit4 sparked a flurry of rumors. In a conversation with Enterprise Times, Mike Ettling, CEO of Unit4 confirmed that this had been a regular occurrence, however, talks with Advent began in December.

“The number one criteria was finding a partner who really believed in the strategy and vision we set out,” Ettling told Diginomica. “And I think the two critical pillars of that vision are North America and ERPx. So that was the first criteria, which was really important for us.”

Unit4’s cloud bookings grew 82% in the fourth quarter of FY20. Cloud subscription revenue grew 12% to $29.6 million. Total bookings rose 20%. Strong global growth, including its North American business following growing demand for the Unit4 Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform and its new ERPx solution, drove the results.