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Oakley’s PRIMAVERA acquisition establishes new Iberian business software group

Oakley Capital’s Oakley Capital Private Equity III (Fund III) has agreed to acquire PRIMAVERA Business Software Solutions (PRIMAVERA), a Portuguese specialist in business management software. 

The Company will be combined with existing Oakley Capital portfolio company Ekon, a Spanish provider of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, to create a new group under the name Grupo Primavera, which will be the largest independent provider of business software in Iberia. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Founded in 1993, PRIMAVERA provides ERP and cloud business software solutions to over 32,000 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (“SMEs”) across Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa. PRIMAVERA is widely recognised as a market leader, with a strong brand and reputation, and is supported by a broad distribution network of over 500 partners. The Company was acquired from its founders, José Dionísio and Jorge Batista, who will invest alongside Fund III in the merged entity and continue to co-lead the PRIMAVERA business.

Grupo Primavera will comprise PRIMAVERA, Ekon, which was acquired in 2019 as Fund III’s initial investment in the space, and five additional bolt-on acquisitions made over the last twelve months (Tabulae, Contasimple, Billage, Diez Software and Professional Software). The newly established group will be the largest independent software platform serving SMEs in Iberia, with over 55,000 customers, cEUR60 million of revenues and double-digit annual growth, driven by the rapid adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. Grupo Primavera will be led by Santiago Solanas, an industry veteran with over 30 years’ experience in global roles in the software industry, including leadership positions at Cisco in France and Southern Europe, Sage Iberia, as well as in Microsoft and Oracle.

The Iberian business software market continues to benefit from long-term structural growth, as SMEs digitise and adopt cloud technology. Portugal and Spain lag international benchmarks in cloud adoption, at c25 per cent and c30 per cent, respectively, compared to over 60 per cent in Northern Europe.

Grupo Primavera will accelerate its deployment of cloud solutions organically through investment in product development and go-to-market initiatives, as well as through further acquisitions.

Peter Dubens, Managing Partner of Oakley Capital, says: “This is another example of Oakley’s ability to invest in founder-owned technology businesses and execute buy-and-build strategies. With the adoption of cloud technology in Iberia being behind the rest of Europe, we see significant value and further potential in growing the largest independent business software platform to service SMEs within the region.”

José Dionísio and Jorge Batista, CEOs and Co-Founders of PRIMAVERA, says: “We are very excited about the new path that we are taking by creating an independent Iberian business software champion. This is a project with great potential, bringing together companies with a wide range of experience and leadership within the sector. We have been approached by many potential partners over the years, but it is with Oakley Capital and Santiago Solanas that we decided to take this step due to the exciting project they presented to us.”

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