Fort Worth-based software firm acquired by New York private equity group

ECi Software Solutions, a Fort Worth-based provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) across the distribution, field services, building and construction and manufacturing industries, is being acquired by funds advised by Apax Partners. No price for the transaction was released.

ECi is currently owned by affiliates of The Carlyle Group and Level Equity. Carlyle will retain a minority ownership position in the combined company. The transactions are expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.

Apax Partners LLP is a global private equity advisory firm headquartered in London and New York.

Concurrent with this transaction, the Macola, JobBOSS and MAX businesses of Exact Software, a current Apax Funds portfolio company, will be combined with ECi. These businesses are based in the U.S. and provide ERP software applications to a wide range of SMB manufacturers.

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“Apax Funds’ acquisition of ECi is the start of another exciting chapter in our history of supporting the growth of small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Ron Books, CEO of ECi Software Solutions since 2009. “As one of the largest private SaaS businesses in the world, this transaction will allow us to continue to deliver innovative solutions to our nearly 15,000 customers – expanding our footprint in our current vertical markets and beyond. Adding in Exact’s Macola, JobBOSS and MAX businesses gives ECi an even broader and deeper product suite to fit the ever-changing needs of manufacturers.”

ECi has invested heavily in its core verticals to transition all product sets to the cloud. The Apax Funds investment will accelerate this initiative, according to a news release on the acquisition.

The current ECi senior management team, including CEO Books, will continue to lead the combined company, which will be known as ECi Software Solutions. It will remain headquartered in Fort Worth.

The legal and financial advisors to Apax Partners are Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Ernst & Young LLP, respectively. The legal and financial advisors to ECi are Latham & Watkins LLP, BofA Merrill Lynch and PwC, respectively.