News from the compliance software world: Navex Global is being sold from one private equity firm to another.
BC Partners, a large private equity firm based in London, will acquire a majority stake in Navex from Vista Equity Partners, a PE firm based in San Francisco that has owned Navex since 2014. Neither firm disclosed a purchase price, and Vista will keep a minority stake in the business. The deal is expected to close in September.
Navex, of course, is a kingpin in compliance software. Companies everywhere use its whistleblower hotline product, EP/IM. It also sells Risk Rate (due diligence services), PolicyTech (policy management), and Navex Engage (training).
It’s worth noting that Vista and BC Partners describe this transaction as a recapitalization rather than a sale — which means both firms still see future growth potential for Navex, and they’re placing money on that bet.
BC Partners also touts its investment strategy of focusing on expansion and exit events, and its primary geographic market is Europe. So I wouldn’t be surprised if BC Partners and Vista push for a rapid expansion of Navex, before an IPO or some other exit event sometime in the future.
Mark Fariborz, a senior partner at BC Partners, even said as much in a press release: “We are excited to work with NAVEX Global and its leadership team, and look forward to investing in new products as well as international expansion.”
Ditto from Robert Smith, CEO of Vista Equity Partners: “We are reinvesting in NAVEX Global because we see an opportunity for further product development and international expansion.”
BC Partners has rather eclectic investment tastes. Its other holdings range from PetSmart and Altice here in the United States, to the largest food retailer in Turkey, to several dental services firms around the world — including DentalPro, “the leader in the large and fragmented Italian dental services market.” (Then again, every industry is fragmented in Italy.)
Closer to compliance software, however, BC Partners also has interests in Acuris (financial data), Aenova (contract management), and Cyxtera (data analytics).
Disclosure: Navex Global pays me to write occasional posts for its Ethics & Compliance Matters blog and provide other editorial services from time to time. The posts are awesome. I know nothing more about this transaction than the press release and what you read here.