Dutch software firm Exact in $1.4 billion buyout talks with Apax, KKR-Reuters

(Reuters) – Dutch software company Exact Holding is in sale talks with a series of private equity funds, including Apax and KKR, in a deal to take the company private that could be worth around one billion euros ($1.4 billion), several sources said on Friday.

Two sources said Rothschild has been mandated to sell the company which is listed on Euronext Amsterdam with a market capitalization of 617 million euros.

A deal would mark the second take-private transaction among technology stocks listed on Euronext since Advent International offered 1.2 billion euros to acquire another listed software firm, UNIT4, at the end of 2013.

Exact’s shares were trading up 33.7 percent at 1147 GMT.

“Private equity interest around Exact has been mounting since UNIT4 was snapped by Advent,” said a source who can’t be named because the talks are private.

Apax, who was previously bidding for UNIT4, has now directed its attention towards Exact, the sources said.

The list of bidders also includes global investment firm KKR while EQT and Hellman & Friedman initially explored a potential acquisition but are no longer in the process, the sources said.

Exact provides a range of business software services for small and medium enterprises.

The company, which is moving to a cloud-based business model from a licensing software-based model, could command multiples of at least 12 times its core earnings (EBITDA) and a premium of around 30-40 percent, one of the sources said.

Exact generated 47.4 million euros of core earnings in 2013, on revenue of 213.2 million euros. In the fourth quarter of 2013 revenues from cloud solutions increased 42.4 percent to 5.8 million euros compared to the same period last year.

Exact Holding, KKR, Apax, Hellman & Friedman and EQT were not immediately available to comment. Rothschild declined to comment.