Nordic Capital to Acquire Software Provider Board International

(Bloomberg) -- Nordic Capital is buying a majority stake in software maker Board International, expanding its portfolio of companies in the technology and payments sector.

Through the deal, the private-equity firm will support Switzerland and U.S.-based Board’s "continued international expansion through investment into the organization and its technology platform," it said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The transaction marks the sixth investment by Nordic Capital’s 4.3 billion-euro ($4.9 billion) Fund IX.

Fast-growing software companies like Board are valued on revenue multiples and looking at peers, it’s likely that Nordic Capital has paid a high single-digit revenue multiple. The company’s main competitor, Nasdaq-listed Anaplan Inc., trades well above 10 times revenue. Board’s annual turnover is about $70 million, which could give an estimated transaction value of about $500 million. The companies agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.

Board provides a "decision-making platform" that allows companies to deploy business intelligence, corporate performance management and predictive analytics applications on a single platform. Customers include Coca-Cola Co., DHL, KPMG, Puma SE, Siemens AG and Toyota Motor Corp. Board serves more than 3,000 customers and 200,000 users in more than 100 countries.

Faster Growth

"Board operates on a large global market that is growing by 30 percent a year for these sort of tools," Fredrik Naslund, a partner at the adviser to Nordic Capital’s funds and the head of its technology and payments team, said by phone. "With Nordic Capital’s support, we see a big opportunity to grow Board even faster than that."

Nordic Capital’s investments in the technology and payments sector include market-research technology provider Cint, payments provider Trustly, software company Vizrt, and financial-software provider Macrobond.

The acquisition of Board marks Nordic Capital’s first deal of 2019. Naslund said he expects this year to be slower for private equity firms, with fewer transactions than last year.

"It’s a bit shaky in the markets," he said. "There are political worries and the risk of trade wars, so I think we’ll be entering a calmer phase."

Still, the Nordic technology and payments sector still has a lot to offer, according to Naslund.

"In the Nordics, we are very good at early tech adaption," he said. "There are still quite a lot of opportunities. We have absolutely no problem finding companies for Nordic Capital to invest in, so we can be selective."

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