Cinven Nears Deal for German Software Maker think-cell

Cinven Ltd., the U.K. buyout house, agreed to buy a controlling stake in German software company think-cell, the company said in a statement.

As part of the transaction, think-cell’s founders Markus Hannebauer and Arno Schoedl will continue to be active members of the management team and will both remain minority investors in the business alongside Cinven.

Founded in 2002, think-cell reported 88 million euros in revenue and 80 million euros in pretax profit in 2019, according to public filings. Publicly traded peers are usually valued at 10 times revenue and in some cases at more than 20 times pretax profit. That means think-cell could be valued at significantly more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion), the people said.

The software company creates tools to make charts and slides on Microsoft Corp.’s PowerPoint and has some 800,000 paying users, according to its website.

The sale of a majority stake in think-cell to private equity is in line with a broader industry trend. Founders, including companies in Asia, have been fueling such deals to resolve succession issues, cash in on high valuations and manage the next phase of growth.

Cinven has been involved in significant private-equity deals in recent years in German-speaking Europe, including the buyout of generic drugmaker Stada Arzneimittel AG and ThyssenKrupp AG’s elevator business.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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