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Hot deal! Francisco gets bids of $400M for eFront: sources

Francisco Partners‘ auction of financial software company eFront has attracted offers of around $400 million, according to two people familiar with the transaction.

Francisco is seeking bids of 7x revenue for Paris-based eFront, the sources said. American Banker has estimated eFront had sales of $59 million in 2013, which would put Francisco’s asking price at $413 million.

First-round bids were due last week for the auction, which is being handled by Barclays, the sources said. Bidders included private equity firms as well as one strategic, Markit, a third source said.

Francisco Partners acquired a majority stake in eFront In September 2011, according to a statement from that time. The whole company was valued at 68 million Euros (US$88 million), the statement said.

Bloomberg News reported last month that Francisco Partners was preparing to exit eFront either through an IPO or sale. Strategic buyers potentially interested in the company include Markit, SS&C Technologies Holdings, Broadridge Financial Solutions and Nasdaq, Bloomberg said.

With offices in San Francisco and London, Francisco Partners invests in sectors such as software, security and healthcare IT. The firm’s last fund, Francisco Partners III L.P., closed at $2 billion in February 2011. That fund generated a net IRR of 18.2 percent and a 1.3x investment multiple as of March 31, according to CalPERS, an investor in the fund.

Francisco Partners declined comment. Executives for eFront and Markit couldn’t be reached for comment.

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