Final bids for Hellman & Friedman’s Openlink due `imminently’

Hellman & Friedman’s auction of OpenLink has hit the final round.

Offers for Openlink are due “imminently,” one person familiar with the situation said. Bidders include Allegro Development and a strategic, four other people said.

Hellman & Friedman is expected to announce the winner in the next couple weeks, two of the sources said.

Founded in 1992, Openlink develops energy, commodity trading and risk management software. Hellman & Friedman put Openlink up for sale in October, Buyouts reported. The Uniondale, New York, company was seen fetching more than $1 billion, the story said. Centerview Partners is advising on the process.

The Openlink auction was expected to attract large buyout shops. Some firms have walked away from the process due to platform issues and tough growth, two of the sources said. Private equity, including firms as well as portfolio companies, continues to be interested in Openlink, other people countered. One of the sources pointed to Allegro, which is a portfolio company of Vector Capital.

The company promoted Rich Grossi, its chief technology officer, to chief executive in September, right before the start of the auction. John O’Malley, Openlink’s CEO for two years, transitioned to the role of executive chairman.

Openlink produced $80 million EBITDA in 2016 and it employs 1,200, PitchBook says.

Allegro, Dallas, provides commodity trading and risk management software and services for oil, gas, utilities and other commodity customers. Vector, a technology-focused PE firm, recapitalized Allegro in 2014. Earlier this year, Vector’s fifth fund closed on $1.4 billion. Its fourth pool, Vector Capital IV, raised $1.2 billion in 2007.

Hellman & Friedman is the third PE firm to own Openlink. The buyout shop acquired the company in 2011 for $700 million from Carlyle Group. Carlyle bought Openlink for $480 million in 2009 from TA Associates.

Hellman & Friedman used its seventh buyout fund, which closed in 2009 on $8.9 billion, to invest in Openlink. Hellman’s eighth pool collected $10.9 billion in 2014, Buyouts said.

Executives for OpenLink declined comment. Allegro could not immediately be reached for comment.

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