Strategic pre-empts Francisco Partners’ sale of Capsilon

Private equity is out of the running for Capsilon, four sources said.

Several PE firms, including TowerBrook Capital Partners and Aquiline Capital Partners, bid for Capsilon but were rejected, one of the sources said.

A strategic has pre-empted the auction, people said. Sources pointed to Ellie Mae, which is backed by Thoma Bravo, as the party in talks to buy Capsilon, two of the sources said. Ellie Mae is paying around $350 million for Capsilon, two of the people said.

Francisco put Capsilon up for sale in September, Buyouts reported. Jefferies is advising on the process, the story said.

Capsilon, of San Francisco, provides cloud-based document and data management software for the mortgage industry. The company employs 450 people, including more than 200 engineers. Capsilon said its software speeds up loans by automating up to 80 percent of mortgage work. It produces $15 million of Ebitda on $50 million of revenue, one of the sources said.

Francisco Partners invested in Capsilon in 2016. It’s unclear how much the firm invested. The San Francisco firm closed its fifth flagship on $3.97 billion in 2017. Francisco’s fourth fund collected $2.87 billion in 2015.

Thoma Bravo has owned Ellie Mae for just six months. The buyout shop closed its $3.7 billion buy of the mortgage software provider in April. Thoma Bravo invests in software and technology companies. The firm is investing out of its latest flagship, which closed on $12.6 billion in January, Reuters reported. Thoma Bravo Fund XII collected $7.6 billion in 2016, while Fund XI weighed in at $3.65 billion.

Executives for Thoma Bravo, Ellie Mae, Capsilon, TowerBrook, Aquiline, Francisco Partners and Jefferies could not immediately be reached for comment.

Action Item: See Francisco Partners’s latest form ADV here