Apr
06
2020
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Koch Industries closes nearly $13B Infor acquisition

Koch Industries announced today that it has closed on the acquisition of Infor, announced in February. The company never officially announced the purchase price, but sources indicated that it was close to $13 billion, putting it in line to be one of the top 10 enterprise acquisitions this year.

The company will remain an independent subsidiary of Koch, which tends to deal more in manufacturing than software. The goal is to use the resources of Koch to continue to build out the Infor product family with a focus on industry-specific solutions, according to the company.

At the time of the deal in February, CEO Kevin Samuelson certainly saw the potential of having a company with the financial resources of Koch backing his organization.

“As a subsidiary of a $110 billion+ revenue company that re-invests 90% of earnings back into its businesses, we will be in the unique position to drive digital transformation in the markets we serve,” Samuelson said.

As the company pointed out, Infor is helping customers move to the cloud, even in industries like manufacturing, distribution and finance that might otherwise be stuck on legacy systems. This transition to the cloud is becoming even more pressing as companies deal with the COVID-19 crisis and are forced to find creative ways to keep their businesses going, even when many employees can’t come into the office. Having access to applications in the cloud certainly helps ease that burden.

The company counts some of the largest organizations in the world as customers, including 17 of the top 20 global banks, 9 of the 10 largest global hotel brands and 7 of the top 10 global luxury brands

Infor was founded in 2002 and raised over $6 billion along the way, according to PitchBook. Its most recent investment before the acquisition was for $1.5 billion in January 2019.

Feb
04
2020
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Koch Industries acquires Infor in deal pegged at nearly $13B

Infor announced today that Koch Industries has bought the company in a deal sources peg at close to $13 billion.

Infor, which makes large-scale cloud ERP software, has been around since 2002 and counts Koch as both a customer and an investor, so the deal makes sense on that level. Koch was lead investor last year in a $1.5 billion investment, wherein the company indicated that it was a step before going public.

It’s not clear if that is still the goal, as sources suggested that staying private might provide the company with more capital flexibility in the future. Daniel Newman, founder and principal analyst at Futurum Research, says staying private longer could benefit Infor in the long run.

“There have been thoughts of an IPO, but remaining private should give the company flexibility without the quarterly pressure to refine its strategy, make necessary investments in the platform and achieve the growth rates that would make the company more of an exciting IPO,” he said.

Under the terms of the deal, Koch will be buying out the remaining equity stake in Golden Gate Capital, a secondary investor in last year’s investment. The company’s management team will remain in place and Infor will act as a standalone subsidiary of Koch.

Company CEO Kevin Samuelson, as you would expect, saw the deal as a positive move that allowed the company to operate with a well capitalized parent behind it. “As a subsidiary of a $110 billion+ revenue company that re-invests 90% of earnings back into its businesses, we will be in the unique position to drive digital transformation in the markets we serve,” he said in a statement.

Jim Hannan, executive vice president and CEO of enterprises for Koch Industries, saw it similarly, with Koch’s deep pockets helping to propel Infor in the future. “As a global organization spanning multiple industries across 60 countries, Koch has the resources, knowledge and relationships to help Infor continue to expand its transformative capabilities,” he said in a statement.

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research, says it’s a strange deal on its face, but if Koch leaves Infor alone, it might work out. “When you think you have seen it all, something new comes along: A regular enterprise buys a top-five ERP vendor. Now [we’ll have to see] if Koch can ensure Infor keeps building market leading software, using Koch as showcase, or becomes the Koch software affiliate.

“The latter would be an unfortunate outcome. On the positive side, enterprise software built from real user validation, that can also serve as a reference, can be very powerful,” Mueller told TechCrunch. He said it could work out great, but also has the potential to go very wrong, depending on how Koch manages a software asset.

Infor is a huge company. As we reported last year at the time of its investment:

Infor may be the largest company you never heard of, with more than 17,000 employees and 68,000 customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. All of those customers generated $3 billion in revenue in 2018. That’s a significant presence.

Jan
16
2019
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Infor lands $1.5 billion investment ahead of IPO

Infor, a NYC-based enterprise software company, announced a massive $1.5 billion investment today that could be the precursor to an IPO in the next 12-24 months. One analyst is estimating that the valuation could be at least $60 billion.

The investment is being led by Koch Industries’ investment arm, Koch Equity Development, and Golden Gate Capital. Today’s investment comes on top of a $2 billion+ cash infusion from Koch in 2017, bringing the total raised to at least more than $3.5 billion along with a hefty $6.1 billion in debt. That’s a lot of cash.

In fact, the company plans to use a large portion of today’s investment to pay down part of that debt, including $500 million in senior secured notes due in 2020, which it plans to pay off next month, and $750 million in HoldCo senior contingent cash pay notes due in 2021, which it plans to pay off in May. The thinking is that the company wants to reduce its debt load ahead of its IPO.

“We expect this paydown, in combination with cash flows and estimated IPO proceeds, will provide Infor with leverage levels consistent with other successful IPOs over the past few years,” Infor CFO Kevin Samuelson explained during an investor call today.

The company wouldn’t rule out additional investments before going public, but it was looking firmly toward an IPO. “We’ve spoken for some time about the many advantages that we believe Infor will receive if the company goes public, including improved brand recognition, a broader employee equity program, additional currency for M&A and more financial clarity for our customers and prospects,” Samuelson said.

Infor may be the largest company you never heard of, with more than 17,000 employees and 68,000 customers in more than 100 countries worldwide. All of those customers generated $3 billion in revenue in 2018. That’s a significant presence.

Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, told TechCrunch that based on that revenue, he believes the valuation could be in the neighborhood of $60 billion. He based that on $3 billion in revenue, while using Oracle and SAP as similar industry comparisons. These companies have a 20X price/earnings ratio. He adds, that would make it the largest tech IPO ever for a NYC tech company if that comes to pass. Infor would not confirm this number with a spokesperson telling TechCrunch, “We cannot comment on value at this time.”

What does this company do to achieve this size and scope? It’s not unlike many other large enterprise companies, says Wang. It produces cloud software solutions around typical enterprise needs such as CRM, ERP and supply chain asset management.

Daniel Newman, principal analyst at Futurum Research, says that Infor has grown rapidly through a series of acquisitions and an unusual approach to enterprise software. “What makes its approach to enterprise software unique is that rather than building software and then attempting to customize it for the unique [customer] needs, Infor takes an industry-based approach that incorporates both subtle and material capabilities to address specific industry needs that more generic ERP tools aren’t capable of out of the box,” Newman told TechCrunch.

He adds that this difference is attractive to many companies seeking ERP and enterprise asset management tools that are built with their business in mind, rather than completely customizing a software designed for any business in any industry.

As it turns out, Koch isn’t just an investor, it’s an Infor customer. “Koch was a customer of Infor before we became an investor in the company, and Koch Industries’ companies continue to move their most mission critical applications to Infor CloudSuites,” Jim Hannan, executive vice president and CEO for Enterprises at Koch Industries said in a statement.

The company, which was founded way back in 2002, has been shifting to the cloud over the last five years. It reports that more than 70 percent of its revenue is now derived from cloud products, fueled in part by an aggressive acquisition strategy.

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