PE Tech Report


Like this article?

Sign up to our free newsletter

Silverfleet sells Phase One

Silverfleet Capital, a Pan-European private equity firm, has agreed the sale of Phase One, a technology business specialising in high-end digital imaging software and equipment, to funds managed by Axcel. 

Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Phase One has two divisions: Software Imaging Systems (SIS), which provides market leading raw image processing software to professional and amateur photographers and enterprises under the Capture One brand; and Image Capture Solutions (ICS), which supplies ultra-high-end, medium format camera systems for industrial applications (such as aerial mapping and inspection), as well as for professional and amateur photographers, and cultural heritage institutions. The Business is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with operations in Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan and the US.

Silverfleet acquired a majority stake in Phase One in 2014, having identified strong growth in the use of high resolution, medium format imaging e.g. aerial imaging for 3D mapping and homeland security applications; and in the number of digital images being captured and shared globally. Since then, Silverfleet has supported Phase One to undergo a significant transformation, from a hardware to software-centric business focus, which has helped drive a revenue CAGR of +38 per cent in its Software Imaging Systems business unit between 2014 and 2018. Over the last 5 years, Phase One has also made two add-on acquisitions including of its main supplier in Japan; and invested significantly in R&D, to drive continuous innovation in medium format imaging, most recently with the successful launch of the IQ4 and IXM systems for individual photographers and industrial end uses.

Rob Knight, Principal at Silverfleet and Board member, says: “It has been a pleasure to partner with the management team during this period of significant transformation and to support Capture One to become the industry leader in imaging software. We wish Henrik and his team well in the next phase of the Company’s growth.”

Henrik Håkonsson, Chief Executive of Phase One, says: “Silverfleet’s strategic guidance and financial support over the past five years has been instrumental in enabling us to fulfil our potential by pushing the technology boundaries and innovating intelligently in response to our customers’ needs in both our SIS and ICS divisions.”

Gareth Whiley, Managing Partner at Silverfleet Capital, says: “We could not be happier with the result achieved from the sale of Phase One. This exit represents another very successful investment for our firm in the Nordic region; where we continue to actively look for differentiated businesses with strong international growth potential, like Phase One”. Since 2004, 19 per cent of Silverfleet’s new investments by capital have been in companies with headquarters in the Nordic region. In 2016 Silverfleet sold Cimbria, a Danish-headquartered manufacturer of equipment and processing lines for seed and grain, to AGCO Corporation for approximately EUR310 million. Silverfleet is also an investor in Masai, a Danish womenswear clothing brand.

Silverfleet Capital was advised by Mooreland Partners (corporate finance), Travers Smith and Bech-Bruun (legal), Deloitte (financial and tax due diligence), McKinsey (commercial due diligence) and BearingPoint (technical due diligence).

Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter