Summit backs German trading platform

Summit has invested in German online trading platform 360T at a time when PE firms are increasingly attracted to financial technology businesses.

Growth equity investor Summit Partners has signed a definitive agreement to invest in 360T, a German online financial trading platform. 

The transaction involves a partial exit of the stake held by Frankfurt investment firm Brockhaus Private Equity, which will continue to be a 360T shareholder following the sale according to a statement. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal is the latest in a series of private equity investments in financial technology. Recent larger deals include GTCR’s takeover of electronic payments BankServ in August, which it then combined with banking services firm Fundtech after an acquisition in September.Kohlberg Kravis Roberts acquired Ipreo, a provider of deal execution platforms and investor communication tools to investment banks, in August.

Financial technology is an attractive target for private equity due to the fast pace of innovation in the space, where the opportunity to tailor platforms for use on tablets and smartphones provides significant growth potential. Several other private equity firms have made recent acquisitions of smaller companies in the sector.

Summit recently closed its Fund VIII, which closed above its revised $2.5bn target in December, and will target equity commitments greater than $45 million. Summit also closed its third venture capital fund on $520 million in December, bringing the firm’s total available capital to deploy above $9 billion.

Founded by chief executive Carlo Koelzer and Mathew Kuppe in 2000, 360T provides web-based trading technology for over-the-counter financial instruments, particularly currency exchange, short-term money market loans and deposits and interest rate derivatives. 

The company also offers a hosted white label trading technology that enables organizations to provide internal electronic trading services on a proprietary branded platform. More than 100 organisations connect to the platform, with buy-side clients including multinational corporate treasuries, asset managers, broker-dealers and banks.

Summit Partners will work with the existing management team, led by Koelzer, who is a significant shareholder. The transaction is pending regulatory approval by BaFin, the financial regulatory authority for Germany, and the German Cartel Office.

360T was advised on the transaction by Hengeler Mueller and Lincoln International. Summit Partners was advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges and Torch Partners Corporate Finance.