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Kennet makes 11x money on Cramer sale

Kennet Venture Partners, a technology investor, has exited its investment in Cramer, a UK operations and support systems business, in a $375m sale to Amdocs of the US.

Kennet Venture Partners, a technology-focused venture capital firm, has disposed of its stake in Cramer, an operations support systems business, in a $375 million (€295 million) sale to Amdocs, a US customer management software company.
 
David Carratt, a managing director at Kennet Venture Partners and a member of Cramer’s board of directors since 1999, said that the firm generated an 11 times multiple on its original investment in the sale. 
 

Carratt: one of biggest software deals in Europe

Kennet Venture Partners invested £1 million in seed funding for Cramer in 1999, followed in 2000 by a $25 million Series B financing which included $3 million from Kennet and $22 million from Broadview Capital Partners, a later stage technology investor.
 
Carratt said that, before the disposal, Kennet Venture Partners held a 15 percent stake in Cramer. Broadview Capital Partners reportedly held a 24 percent stake, while HarbourVest also made an undisclosed secondary investment in the company in late 2004.
 
Carratt said that the $375 million Amdocs paid for the business excluded cash on the balance sheet, putting the total transaction value at over $400 million: “Even at $375 million, that might be the highest cash price paid for a European software business, with Skype the previous highest priced exit. Skype wasn’t a software business, though, and given that software makes up more than fifty percent of the tech sector, this sale is very encouraging.”
 
Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Index Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Mangrove Capital Partners sold Skype to online auctioneer eBay last September for $4.1 billion in cash and shares.
 
Established in 1996, Cramer provides telecom support systems for clients including Bell Canada, KPN, TDC, Telefonica, TeliaSonera and Vodafone.
 
The original Cramer investments were made from Kennet I, which closed on €70 million in 1998 and is fully invested. Carratt said that the fund had returned all of its capital to investors. The firm is currently investing from its €160 million Kennet II fund: “We’ve deployed around $40 million from Kennet II in 2006 and we expect it to be fully invested by December and will be looking to go out fundraising for our Kennet III at the end of the year and early 2007.”
 
Kennet Venture Partners spun out from Broadview International, the parent company of Broadview Capital Partners, in 2003 in a buyout led by Carratt and fellow managing directors Michael Elias and Javier Rojas, who is based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office.