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Business Leonard Green & Partners acquires majority stake in ECI

Leonard Green & Partners acquires majority stake in ECI

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ECI Software Solutions, a leader in cloud-based business management software solutions for small and medium sized companies, announced Nov. 19 that Leonard Green & Partners 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.

ECI is the premier provider of enterprise resource planning solutions, such as accounting, purchasing, warehousing and inventory management, to more than 22,000 customers globally, a news release said.

Under the Apax Funds’ and Carlyle’s ownership, ECI has experienced rapid growth both organically and through strategic mergers and acquisitions. Since 2017, ECI has made 15 acquisitions, helping it gain significant market share and scale internationally, with sizeable transactions in Europe and Australia consolidating its presence in those regions.

“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,” said Ron Books, ECI’s Chief Executive Officer. “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 the organization invests 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. 

“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,” said Jason Wright, Partner at Apax Partners.

“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,” said Steve Bailey, Managing Director at Carlyle. “Our partnership with ECI is a great example of the latter. Through embracing the opportunity in SaaS, ECI has accelerated its growth while also benefitting 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.

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