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Middle East funds in talks to buy stake in Norway’s Visma

Middle East Visma Visma
The sale could give Visma an enterprise valuation of more than $20bn, up to as much as $25bn

Norwegian software developer Visma is in talks with Middle Eastern and Asian sovereign funds over the sale of a minority stake ahead of launching a formal process after September, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The sale could give the business an enterprise valuation of more than $20 billion, up to as much as $25 billion, one of the sources said.

Visma was last valued at $12.2 billion including debt in November 2020, when Warburg Pincus and TPG agreed to buy minority stakes.

The firm is in discussions with undisclosed sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia, with a deal to be attempted before the end of the year, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

With transaction fees alone potentially hitting $1bn, only wealthy funds flush with cash could afford the deal. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and Singapore’s GIC are already invested in the company.

Visma’s majority shareholder, European buyout firm Hg, is likely to reinvest in the business in a deal where some shareholders could sell down to allow in new investors, two of the sources said.

General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus are looking to sell their stakes and cash out, one source said.

Hg, Visma, TPG, General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus declined to comment.

Visma is a software as a service (SaaS) company, with more than 11,000 employees producing accounting, payroll and HR software products for customers across the Nordic, Benelux and Baltic regions.

Hg initially invested in Visma in 2006, when it helped take the company private from the Oslo stock exchange at a valuation of about $450 million.

Visma generated more than €2 billion ($2.3 billion) in revenue in 2022, according to its annual report.

Enterprise resource planning software deals have been among some of this year’s larger transactions, including Silver Lake’s €600 million ($672 million) minority stake investment in Italy’s TeamSystem, valuing the business at almost €7 billion ($7.79 billion).