Thoma Bravo, one week after its $3 billion Qlik deal, acquires Wayne- based Elemica

Tom Paine

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Elemica, a Wayne-based supply chain software company specializing in process industries (chemicals, petrol) has been acquired by PE firm Thoma Bravo. This comes a week after Thoma Bravo's uncontested $3 billion bid for Radnor-based Qlik Technologies. Terms were not disclosed.

I'm not sure how big Elemica is in terms of revenue, but I do know its applications are typically complex and should generate considerable revenue, though since customers were often Elemica owners I don't what pricing or revenue reflected. It has 217 employees on LinkedIn.

Thoma Bravo, based in San Francisco snd Chicago, had made two other fairly recent buys in the Philly area, quality management software firm Sparta Systems of Hamilton, NJ in July 2014, and iPipeline of Exton last summer.

The website SpendMatters, which has covered Elemica in the past, has the best first take on the deal.

My understanding is that the owners of Elemica prior to this transaction were process industry companies that would also be its customers, but I haven't been able to absolutely confirm the past ownership structure.

Update: Elemica representative confirmed that the companies owning Elemica were the process industry enterprises that were most likely to be its customers. Not absolutely sure what companies were owners of record at time of Elemica's sale this week, but this article excerpt talks about who was on board at its founding. Notice that some of these companies, such as Dow and Rohm & Haas, have been impacted by M&A.

August 16, 2000 --The eight founding participants of Elemica announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement that formally creates the premier neutral, independent and secure e-marketplace for the chemical industry. ATOFINA, BASF , Bayer , BP, Dow, DuPont , Rohm and Haas and Shell have signed the document that will fund and accelerate the establishment of Elemica Limited as a company. Together, the eight founders are investing a total of $100 million in the company. The target operational launch date for the company's transactional site is December 2000.

In addition to the eight signed founders, 12 other companies have already agreed in principle to invest and participate in the marketplace, and are now in the process of entering into definitive agreements with Elemica. These companies include Air Products, Ashland Distribution Company, Celanese, CHEMCENTRAL, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Degussa -Hüls, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals , Rhodia, Solvay , Sumitomo Chemical and Van Waters & Rogers.

A quick look at Elemica's owners will lead to the conclusion that virtually all are SAP customers. Given that, I'm surprised that SAP didn't offer a bid, though we don't know that it didn't bid for sure. But there's been a pattern
in which financial buyers outbid strategic buyers for mature software companies.

Links 6/7: Malone weighs Vodafone bid; Lincoln National, iPipeline partner to broaden reach to young

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