Corel erases iGrafx from its portfolio

Contact: Brenon Daly

A decade after picking up iGrafx, the private equity-backed Corel firm has divested the business process management (BPM) software company to newly formed buyout shop The Limerock Group. The move should allow new focus and resources for iGrafx, which was always an odd fit inside Corel. For its part, iGrafx sold almost entirely to enterprises, while Corel is known as a home for many faded, second-rate consumer brands, such as WordPerfect and PaintShop.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the iGrafx business suffered from a bit of neglect inside Corel. At one point, we understand the business was generating about $20m in sales, although it is probably only running at about half that level now. One area that iGrafx will undoubtedly look to expand is around consulting and other services that tend to play a not-insignificant part of BPM deployments. IGrafx may look to build that up through internal development, or the newly capitalized company could tuck-in a small consulting shop.

The move by Limerock, a firm founded by the team that built and eventually sold NetQoS for $200m, comes after a number of big-name buyers have inked BPM deals of their own over the past two years. (Limerock was advised by Northside Advisors, while Pagemill Partners worked the other side.) Significant acquirers that have bought their way into the market since mid-2009 include IBM, Software AG, Progress Software and Open Text. Valuations for these BPM deals has ranged from roughly 1x sales to almost 6x sales. Given iGrafx’s slumping sales and its awkward fit inside Corel, we suspect the business would have likely traded at the low end of that range.