SciQuest Acquired by Private Equity Firm for Loads of Money

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In an announcement today, we learnt that SciQuest Inc. will be acquired by Accel-KKR (AKKR), a tech-focused private-equity firm, for approximately $509 million. SciQuest CEO Stephen Wiehe said the company expects to continue to “accelerate innovation, increase efficiency” and expand its solution suite under the new private ownership.

AKKR has been a stockholder of SciQuest since 2014 and currently owns 4.9% of the solution provider. Once the deal is complete, AKKR will own 100% of of the company. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2016.

You can read more about it from our US colleagues here. Frankly, it is bigger news in the US than here in Europe; the firm acquired CombineNet, market-informed sourcing specialist in 2013. That business had more European presence than other parts of SciQuest, but appears to have gone backwards in Europe over the last couple of years.

But the purchase price of some $500 million (a valuation some 34% above the recent share price) shows that this is a large firm in the context of global procurement solutions providers; so it will be interesting to see if Accel-KKR can boost the profile this side of the Atlantic. And some law firms in the US are already sniffing around in terms of whether the price is too low - the firms look to represent unhappy shareholders - so this might not be all over yet!

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