Time is money

Contact: Ben Kolada

Novacap Technologies is selling Canadian hosting portfolio company iWeb Group to Internap Network Services for $145m, representing a quick – and solid – return for the Canadian private equity firm. Just two years ago, it took iWeb private for $69.6m (including the assumption of net debt).

Under Novacap, iWeb grew total revenue 50% while maintaining basically the same operating profit margin (only adjusted EBITDA was disclosed in iWeb’s sale to Internap). It also now serves 10,000 SMB customers in more than 100 countries. Though Novocap’s total ROI isn’t immediately clear, the firm undoubtedly did well on its two-year holding. Jefferies advised Internap, while Bank Street Group worked the sell-side.

On the flip side, for Internap, this deal highlights the interplay between two of the most important elements of any transaction: time and money. In this case, waiting longer to buy iWeb meant Internap ended up paying more for it, both on an absolute and relative basis. And Internap will end up paying for it longer: the company is taking on new debt to cover some of the cost of iWeb, which is twice as high as it was the last time the company was on the block.

iWeb’s rising valuation

Metric Sale to Novacap* Sale to Internap
Deal value $69.6m $145m
Price/sales 2.3x 3.3x
Price/EBITDA 9.3x 13.2x**

Source: The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase *Using enterprise value **Using adjusted EBITDA