Advent Is Said to Revive Unit4 Sale Plans After SPAC Approach

Advent International is planning to revive a sale of software business Unit4 NV after receiving takeover interest from a blank-check company, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private-equity firm could kick off a sale process for the business next year, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Netherlands-based Unit4 could be valued at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.4 billion), the people said.

Advent abandoned a previous attempt to sell Unit4 in 2018. Deliberations about a new sale are ongoing and no firm decisions have been made, the people said. One possible exit route would be to merge Unit4 with a blank-check company and Advent has already been approached about such a deal, according to the people.

Representatives for Advent and Unit4 declined to comment.

Also known as special purpose acquisition companies, blank-check firms have this year raised more than $60 billion globally in their pursuit of takeover targets, a record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. While most of this money is chasing deals with U.S. companies, a growing number of SPACs are seeking opportunities across a range of industries in Europe.

Unit4, which Advent agreed to acquire for around 1.2 billion euros in 2013, saw revenue rise 5% last year to $413 million. “We want to put rocket boosters on our growth plans,” Chief Executive Officer Mike Ettling said in a results statement in February.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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