Bolting onto the PE platform

Contact: Brenon Daly

One of the knock-on effects of private equity (PE) spending hitting its highest level in three years in 2010 has been the emergence of bolt-on deals in 2011. Consider the recent M&A activity at Emailvision, an SMB-focused email marketing vendor. The company had been listed on the Euronext, although, candidly, European investors didn’t really appreciate Emailvision’s SaaS delivery model. So rather than stick around as an unloved public company, the firm sold a nearly 70% stake last summer to PE shop Francisco Partners. The transaction valued the overall company at around $109m.

Fast-forward less than a year since selling a majority stake, and Emailvision has already done one small deal as well as a more recent acquisition that it could have never pulled off without the deep pockets of its PE patron. Earlier this month, Emailvision closed its $40m pickup of smartFOCUS, which had been listed on the London Stock Exchange. The transaction added more than $20m to Emailvision’s revenue, which we understand should hit about $110m this year. (That would be nearly twice the level it was before it went private, with M&A boosting an already healthy 40% organic growth rate.) And the vendor may not be done buying. We gather that Emailvision may well announce another deal before the end of the year.