Leeds Equity invests in library automation

The education-focused firm has acquired Ex Libris Group from technology investor Francisco Partners, which purchased the Israeli automation company two years prior.

New York-based Leeds Equity has acquired Israel-based Ex Libris Group for an undisclosed amount from private equity firm Francisco Partners.

Ex Libris Group is a provider of automation solutions for academic, research and national libraries. The company’s customer base consists of thousands of institutions in more than 70 countries on six continents.

Additional resources provided by Leeds will be used to accelerate current and future product strategies. Ex Libris’s corporate structure will remain unaffected by the transaction.

San Francisco-based Francisco Partners, which invests exclusively in technology and technology-enabled services businesses, acquired Ex Libris approximately two years ago.

Under Francisco Partners’ ownership, Ex Libris expanded its product suite, customer base, geographic breadth and revenue, said Ex Libris chief executive Matti Shem Tov in a statement.

Education-focused private equity firm Leeds is well-known for its high-profile stable of politically connected advisors, including former Secretaries of Education Richard Riley and Roderick Paige. At one point the firm also boasted former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani as chairman of its advisory board.

The firm was co-founded by Jeffrey Leeds and former Massachusetts governor William Weld and was known as Leeds Weld until Weld left the firm in 2005. Leeds Equity is currently raising a $1 billion (€652 million) fund, according to Probitas Partners 2008 Private Equity Deskbook. The firm invests in training and business services but is best known for its activity in the for-profit education space.