ECI Software Solutions (ECI) has announced that Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) will acquire a majority stake in the company from funds advised by Apax Partners and The Carlyle Group. Upon completion of the transaction, funds advised by Apax Partners, which acquired ECI in 2017, will retain a minority stake in ECI. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the Apax Funds’ and Carlyle’s ownership, ECI has experienced growth both organically and through strategic M&A. Since 2017, ECI has made 15 acquisitions, helping it gain significant market share and scale internationally, with sizable transactions in Europe and Australia consolidating its presence in those regions.
Ron Books, ECI's Chief Executive Officer said, "the ECI team and I have had a powerful partnership with Apax and Carlyle as we have built the company into a leading SaaS business software solutions and services provider. They have been instrumental in the tremendous growth of our company, and we are proud of what we accomplished together. We are excited to welcome LGP as our new partner, and I am confident that this is the right choice for our future – and the future of our 1,700 employees and more than 22,000 customers."
Usama Cortas, Partner at LGP said, “We are delighted to be partnering with a mission-driven company like ECI, which is focused on supporting the activities and growth of small to medium-sized businesses around the world. We invest in companies that win with people, have a differentiated culture and are market leaders with multiple ways to grow – and ECI is the perfect example. ECI has built an incredible track record of success, and we are excited to be partnering with ECI Management and Apax to support and accelerate the next phase of the company’s growth.”
Jason Wright, Partner at Apax Partners said, “We have been proud to partner with Ron Books and the ECI management team over the past three years as they have executed their plan and transformed the Company through investment in products, international expansion and the completion of 15 acquisitions. Importantly, Ron and the team have instilled a unique culture that is customer-centric and employee-friendly. We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with LGP during this next phase of ECI’s growth.”
Steve Bailey, Managing Director at Carlyle added, “it has been a tremendous journey with Ron and the ECI team and Apax over the years. Carlyle’s strategy is to focus on vertical market SaaS investments or successfully transition software businesses to a SaaS model. Our partnership with ECI is a great example of the latter. Through embracing the opportunity in SaaS, ECI has accelerated its growth while also benefiting from strategic acquisitions. We wish the team every success for the future.”
BofA Securities is acting as lead financial advisor, Barclays as financial advisor, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom as legal advisor to Apax Partners and ECI. Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to LGP.