Vista to make 3x its money with Bullhorn sale

Vista Equity Partners expects to triple its investment with the sale of Bullhorn, a source said.

Insight Venture Partners is buying Vista’s stake in Bullhorn, and the deal is expected to close in Q4. Terms weren’t disclosed, but the person said Vista stands to make 3x its money with the sale. In September, Buyouts reported that Vista was seeking a buyer for Bullhorn.

Founded in 1999, Bullhorn provides cloud-based customer-relationship-management and operations software for the staffing industry. The Boston company employs more than 600 people. It produces $27 million of EBITDA on $120 million of revenue, Buyouts reported. No job cuts or management changes are expected with Bullhorn’s sale to Insight, a spokeswoman said.

Estimates of Bullhorn’s price tag varied. The company sold for $750 million to $800 million, a second person said; others said that range was too high. A third source said companies bidding for Bullhorn needed to offer $450 million to get into management meetings and the transaction closed at $530 million.

Vista is selling Bullhorn after a five-year hold. The technology-focused buyout shop acquired Bullhorn in June 2012. Terms of that transaction weren’t disclosed but the Wall Street Journal valued Vista’s acquisition of Bullhorn in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Vista used its first Foundation Fund, which invested in small-cap software companies, to buy Bullhorn. Vista Foundation Fund I collected $400 million in 2010.

Insight, founded in 1995, makes minority and control growth investments in software and internet-focused companies. In September, Insight scored a home run when Nasdaq agreed to buy eVestment for $705 million, or 16.5x adjusted cash EBITDA for 2018. Insight VP had owned the company for more than nine years.

Insight, New York, is targeting $6 billion for its next fundraising, which includes its 10th fund, Buyouts reported in March. Insight’s ninth fund closed on $3.29 billion in 2015 while its co-investment pool raised $1.46 billion.

Action Item: Contact Art Papas, Bullhorn founder and CEO, at +1 617-478-9100

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