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Hellman & Friedman to seek more than $1 bln for Openlink

Hellman & Friedman has put Openlink up for sale, nearly six years after buying the company, four sources said.

The New York private equity firm hired Centerview Partners to advise on the process, the people said.

Founded in 1992, Openlink develops energy, commodity trading and risk management software. Openlink last month promoted Rich Grossi, its chief technology officer, to chief executive, a statement said. John O’Malley, Openlink’s CEO for two years, transitioned to the role of executive chairman.

The Uniondale, New York, company is expected to fetch more than $1 billion, the sources said. The Openlink auction is in the early stages, the people said.

The process is expected to attract large buyout shops such as Blackstone Group and KKR.

Openlink has deep ties to PE. Hellman & Friedman acquired Openlink in 2011 from Carlyle Group, which bought the company from TA Associates in 2009.

Openlink’s price tag has also gotten bigger. Hellman bought the company for more than $700 million, while Carlyle acquired it for $480 million in 2009. In 2006, TA completed a $100 million recap of Openlink, Buyouts reported. 

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 Hellman, Openlink and Centerview could not be reached for comment.

Action Item: Call Openlink CEO Grossi at +1 516-227-6600

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