Bain, Vista Equity to Combine Trio of Public Safety Companies

(Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital and Vista Equity Partners are forming a new government-services software conglomerate via a three-way merger among companies they own.

Superion, which Vista acquired for $850 million last year, is combining with TriTech Software Systems, a company Bain agreed to buy for an undisclosed amount in May, according a joint announcement Tuesday.

The two are also merging with Vista-backed Aptean’s public sector and health-care business, according to a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Superion Chief Executive Officer Simon Angove will run the combined company, which Bain and Vista will own together. Its new name hasn’t been disclosed yet.

"It’s going to allow allow us to bring a broader set of software solutions to public agencies across all 50 states and Canada," Angove said in an interview. "An IPO could always be an option down the road, but we see so much opportunity to grow the business and that’s what we’re focused on at the moment."

The deal illustrates private equity’s eagerness to roll up firms offering software and services to the public safety sector.

It’s a fragmented space poised to benefit from increased government spending to address domestic threats including school shootings and cyber attacks on critical infrastructure. This has companies such as Motorola Solutions Inc. and General Dynamics Corp. looking to expand in public safety through recent acquisitions.

There were 35 deals involving public safety solutions providers this year through June 14, compared with 31 in the same period in 2017, according to research from boutique investment bank Capstone Headwaters.

This transaction will create one of the largest companies exclusively focused on innovation in the public safety sector, according to Angove. Software for U.S. state and federal governments is a huge market with enormous growth potential, he said.

"It’s the largest, single software market in the world," he said.

TriTech’s tools help about 4,000 police departments, prisons, fire departments and ambulance operators with everything from managing calls to tracking crime data, according to the San Diego-based company’s website.

Superion, based in Lake Mary, Florida, offers a suite of products catering to similar customers as well as to municipal, federal and non-profit agencies, according to its website. Vista acquired it last year from Fidelity National Information Services Inc.

Atlanta-based Aptean is the successor to CDC Software and Consona Corp., application software providers that Vista bought and merged in 2012. Its public sector and health care arm makes software that police use to issue traffic citations and local government use to manage their finances, among other products.

Bain, based in Boston, manages $95 billion in private equity, public equity, fixed income, credit and other assets, according to its website.

Vista invests in software, data and technology companies, according to its website. It is raising $12 billion for its seventh buyout fund, according to public filings and data compiled by Bloomberg.

Macquarie Group Ltd. was TriTech’s financial adviser on the deal while Shea & Co. advised Aptean.

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