Published on the 11/09/2018 | Written by Pat Pilcher
Deal adds business expertise and networks to new global markets...
In another win for New Zealand’s flourishing software sector, Kiwi company Seequent (formerly known as Aranz) has sold just under 70 percent of its shares to US private equity firm Accel-KKR, in a deal reportedly worth more than $100 million.
Christchurch based Seequent, which provides visual data science software, has development centres in New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, along with 13 offices around the world and more than 250 staff.
A HiTech awards Company of the Year finalist for several years running and NZ Innovation Awards Export Innovator of the Year in 2017, Seequent was also a finalist in this year’s Westpac Champion Awards in the Exporter category.
“We wanted an investment partner that was additive to our business in expertise and experience.”
The company’s data visualisation/modelling software has gained an established user base and is used for diverse tasks from managing radioactive waste through to the building of motorway tunnels in Slovenia.
The company has also built a sizeable user base around its Leapfrog 3D visualisation software which has been used by civil engineering, mineral and geothermal industries over the last 15 years. Leapfrog generates detailed 3D models of underground geological features that help geologists and investors make informed decisions.
The equity deal is expected to result in Seequent taking on additional staff. They are also expected to be on track to post a turnover of around $50m this financial year. The company recently acquired the Australian-based geological, geo-metallurgical and mine planning consultancy firm QG.
“As we looked to our next phase of growth, we wanted an investment partner that was additive to our business in expertise and experience and was aligned with the Seequent vision to enable better decisions about earth environment and energy challenges,” says Shaun Maloney, CEO of Seequent.
The equity deal will help with expansion, including new market development, product innovation and acquisitions, says Accel-KKR managing director Dean Jacobson.
Accel-KKR is a technology focused investment firm formed in 2000, which has more than US$5 billion in capital investments, with more than 100 tech sector companies having received investment from the company. Before the Accel-KKR investment, Seequent had received funding from Pencarrow, a Wellington-based private equity firm. Pencarrow is expected to retain 10 percent of Seequent shares.
Jacobson, Tom Barnds and Andy Rich From Accel-KKR, are expected to join the Seequent Board of Directors.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to work alongside the management team and board and look forward to investing in new innovation and markets to help Seequent build significant value,” says Jacobson.