Accel-KKR and The Remarkable Journey of Kerridge Commercial Systems

July 22, 2023
by

Key Takeaways:

  • Accel-KKR, a leading technology-focused private equity firm, has reached a definitive agreement to sell Kerridge Commercial Systems Ltd (KCS), a prominent software provider for diverse trades, to CapVest Partners LLP.
  • Throughout Accel-KKR’s investment period, KCS experienced remarkable growth, including over four-fold expansion in overall revenue, increased organic revenue growth rate, and significant enhancement of operating margins.
  • Accel-KKR plans to maintain an active investment pace in Europe, helping companies accelerate growth, build leadership positions, and enter new markets.

About Accel-KKR and Kerridge Commercial Systems: A Symbiotic Success

Accel-KKR is a private equity firm with a strong focus on technology, boasting $19 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Accel-KKR thrives on partnering with portfolio company management teams to build value. The company’s strategy revolves around developing robust partnerships with its portfolio companies and building value in collaboration with management.

Their fruitful partnership with KCS began in 2015. KCS is a leading provider of ERP and business management software, catering to distributors, wholesalers, and related trades. Their diverse customer base spans multiple verticals including building materials and supplies, automotive, industrial, electrical, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and more. With more than 1,100 employees spread across 21 global offices, KCS is a force to be reckoned with.

The Evolution and Expansion of Kerridge Commercial Systems

During Accel-KKR’s eight-year tenure, KCS has undergone a significant transformation. The company witnessed a substantial expansion in its overall revenue base, increased its organic revenue growth rate, and notably improved its operating margins. In addition, KCS also saw a sharp rise in the percentage of revenue that was recurring in nature.

To fuel this growth, KCS adopted an aggressive expansion strategy. This involved several acquisitions that extended its business into new territories, including North America and Continental Europe. A prime example of such an expansion move was the take-private acquisition of US-based MAM Systems in 2019.

“We are very proud of our partnership with Ian Bendelow and the KCS management team. They achieved tremendous results and created a market leader in our eight years of working together,” said Tom Barnds, Co-Managing Partner at Accel-KKR.

New Horizons: Accel-KKR’s Future Prospects in Europe

Accel-KKR has a notable track record of over 70 investments and acquisitions of software companies in Europe. The firm remains one of the most active private equity software investors in the region. Maurice Hernandez, a Managing Director at Accel-KKR, revealed that they expect to maintain an active investment pace in the future. Their focus remains on aiding companies across Europe to accelerate growth, establish leadership positions, and penetrate new markets.

The Next Chapter: Kerridge Commercial Systems and CapVest Partners

With the signing of the definitive agreement, KCS embarks on a new journey with CapVest Partners, an international private equity firm. Ian Bendelow, CEO of KCS, expressed his gratitude towards Accel-KKR, citing them as an exceptional partner throughout their journey.

“As we begin a new chapter with CapVest, we thank Accel-KKR for helping us accelerate our journey,” Bendelow stated. He also praised the partnership for establishing KCS as the premier global ERP and business management software provider to the distributive trades.

Conclusion

The narrative of KCS under the stewardship of Accel-KKR serves as a testament to how the right partnership and strategy can propel an organization to unprecedented heights. As KCS prepares for a new journey with CapVest, the industry will watch closely to see if the firm continues its impressive trajectory. As for Accel-KKR, their unwavering focus on building value alongside management and helping companies accelerate growth sets the stage for promising future collaborations in the European software sector.

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