Symplr, PE-backed healthcare-credentialing company, heads to auction block

  • Pamlico recapped Symplr in Nov. ’15 alongside existing investor, CapStreet
  • Process likely to include broad range of strategics and sponsors
  • Sources: price expectations around the ballpark of $600 mln

Symplr, the private equity-backed provider of healthcare-credentialing software, is gearing up for a sale, five sources told Buyouts.

William Blair has been engaged to advise the Pamlico Capital– and CapStreet Group-backed company on a process, sources said. The auction is expected to be a broad one, encompassing sponsors and strategics, they said.

While marketing materials have yet to be distributed, sources pegged the Houston company’s Ebitda at around $30 million on revenue in the $65 million to $70 million range.

Price expectations are said to be around $600 million, one source said, while another suggested the company could fetch upward of that figure.

Symplr’s software-as-a-service helps healthcare providers track and manage the credentials of physicians, visitors, staff and contractors, ensuring regulatory compliance and mitigating risks for providers.

In other words, physician information is submitted to insurers and is used to ensure that providers are up to date with the necessary credentials and licenses. The company’s products include Cactus and Vistar.

From a strategic perspective, the sellers are likely to reach out to a broad range of potential suitors, sources said.

An administrative- or compliance-like strategic would be the most logical suitor, one source said. This person suggested corporate buyers the likes of Lawson Software, 3M or Oracle, pointing to the latter’s PeopleSoft applications.

“It could be a payer asset; it could be a provider asset. I think it sits best as a compliance asset within an HR function,” the person said.

GHX Healthcare Exchange — which Thoma Bravo sold to Temasek Holdings last year in a reported $1.8 billion deal — also has a credentialing and management component, another source said, adding the company to the list of possible suitors. Premier Inc could also take interest, this source added.

Sources agreed that UnitedHealth’s Optum unit is likely to participate in the process, though they deemed a sale to the prolific acquirer a less likely outcome.

Also less certain is the level of interest from the big sponsor-backed revenue-cycle-management players.

Credentialing is a non-core focus area for the big platforms like McKesson and Blackstone’s Change Healthcare, Bain’s Waystar and Pamplona’s nThrive, sources said.

Symplr’s closest competitor is probably Echo, HealthStream’s medical-staff-credentialing arm, one of the sources said, while there’s also Aperture, the Humana spinoff.

Pamlico’s investment in Symplr dates to November 2015, when the Charlotte, North Carolina, firm recapitalized the company alongside existing investors including CapStreet.

Symplr represented the seventh investment out of Pamlico’s third fund, which closed at $650 million in October 2013.

Houston’s CapStreet initially invested in Symplr in 2012.

Symplr was founded in 2006 and is led by President and CEO Rick Pleczko.

CapStreet Co-Founder George Kelly serves as Symplr’s chairman, while the firm’s managing partner, M. Neil Kallmeyer, serves on the board.

Pamlico Partner Arthur Roselle and Principal Brian Chambers are also members of the board.

Representatives of Pamlico, CapStreet, Symplr and William Blair did not return requests for comment.

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