21 Invest to sell its majority stake in DL Software, leader in vertical software solutions, to TA Associates

February 8, 2021

Invested in DL Software since May 2017, 21 Invest France and its co-investors (Amundi Private Equity Funds & SWEN Capital Partners) have signed an agreement with TA Associates for the sale of DL Software. 21 Invest France, DL Software’s founders and management team will maintain a minority stake in the capital. The envisaged transaction, which is currently under review by representatives of the company’s employees, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary approvals.

21 Invest France acquired a majority stake in DL Software in May 2017, with the ambition of asserting the group’s leadership in various niches of the ERP software market.

After having organized the managerial transition between the two founders (Jean-Noël Drouin & Patrick Lemaire) and Jacques Ollivier, appointed CEO, 21 supported DL Software in the implementation of a sustainable development project combining an organic growth and a build-up strategy.

Thanks to a strengthened organization and a remarkable resilience, DL Software has experienced strong growth each and every year over 21’s tenure, including in the volatile environment of 2020.

In partnership with 21, 7 build-ups were completed as part of an ambitious acquisition strategy supported by the recruitment of a deputy CEO coming from the M&A sector, Vincent de Saint Sernin, who, along with Jacques Ollivier, ensured the optimal integration of each company. Supported by the group, companies have developed their activity by optimizing their innovation capacity, lead generation and service level. The companies of the Group have been able to significantly improve the recurring part of their revenues, enabling DL Software to increase its profitability and strengthen its positioning.

Today, DL Software is an undisputed leader in the ERP software solutions market, with 13 editors covering various sectors such as retail, healthcare, wholesale, tourism and real estate. The company generated a turnover of nearly €M 75m in 2020 compared to €M 48 in 2016. The group is now ideally positioned to successfully pursue expansion in France and Europe, with the support of TA Associates.

Stéphane Perriquet and Fabrice Voituron, Managing Partners at
21 Invest France comment: “DL Software is a perfect illustration of our Fund V investment strategy namely joining forces with high-growth companies with proven resilience in promising markets in order to support them towards their next stage of development. Thanks to the dynamism and excellence of Jacques and his team, we have been able, in less than 4 years, to grow the group organically and accelerate the development of the platform with numerous build-ups. We are excited for TA Associates to take over from this success story and look forward to remaining involved in DL Software’s activities by maintaining a minority stake. "

Jacques Ollivier, CEO of DL Software adds: “The relationship of mutual trust that we have forged with the 21 Invest France team has been essential to the good development of DL Software over the past few years. I would like to thank them for their support in the emergence of a leading player. With the support of our investors, DL will continue to seek additional acquisition opportunities in France and is considering expanding onto other markets in Europe. We are delighted at the prospect of welcoming TA Associates into the capital of DL Software in order to build solid and sustainable growth for the years to come. "

Maxime Cancre, Principal and Patrick Sader, Managing Director at TA Associates declare: “We have been very impressed with the development of DL Software under the ownership of 21 Invest France and the leadership of Jacques and his management team. DL Software enjoys a high-quality revenue model and the French ERP market is large, so we see meaningful expansion opportunities for the company. We are very excited to embark on this journey.

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