VSS in 3x software exit to KKR

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has sold financial data and software company Ipreo to KKR. VSS created its financial information platform in 2003, says partner Scott Troeller.

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has sold financial data and software company Ipreo to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, generating a 3x return multiple, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Ipreo provides investment banks, investor relations professionals and investors with access to issuers of equity and debt.

Following the creation of a financial services platform called CoreData in 2003, VSS in 2006 merged its UK-based portfolio company, Hemscott Group, a provider of financial data and investor relations services, with i-Deal, a capital markets workflow services company, forming Ipreo. The company had also previously acquired assets of bigdough, a provider of institutional contact data and investor profiles.

“Financial information is [roughly] a $15 billion industry and its growth rates are probably in the 6 percent to 7 percent range, so it’s a pretty attractive industry,” partner at VSS Scott Troeller told Private Equity International.

VSS launched an auction process for Ipreo in January that attracted interest from strategic and financial buyers before KKR ultimately purchased the company.

Last month, VSS expanded its capabilities around providing senior debt to small and mid-market businesses in the media and communications sector with the hire of former Merrill Lynch veteran James Dunleavy as a managing director. VSS has been building its senior debt team since last year, when it entered a partnership with debt specialist Ares Capital to provide “flexible” debt capital to small and mid-market companies in the information, education, media and marketing services sectors. VSS is understood to have plans to raise a fund for its debt strategy.

The firm closed its fourth private equity fund on $1.3 billion in 2006. That fund is just about fully invested, and the firm has plans to launch a fifth fund, though it’s not clear when that fund will be launched.