Visma continues hunt for acquisitions – exec

Interview 8 February

Visma continues hunt for acquisitions – exec

Visma, the Norway-based provider of mission-critical cloud software to the private and public sectors, is still looking for acquisitions, Sindre Talleraas Holen, Director of M&A at Visma, told Mergermarket in a written interview.

In general, the company looks for fast-growing cloud software companies with proven technology and customer-friendly products, the executive said.  

The company will continue to grow in existing and new markets, mainly through selective acquisitions which fit its strategic position and culture, Talleraas Holen said.

Visma hasn't set specific targets for investment amounts, but M&A has been, and will remain, a key part of its growth strategy, the executive said. Visma acquires both small and large companies, and strategic fit is a more important factor for the company than current size, he added. In 2021, Visma acquired companies with values ranging from EUR 19m to more than EUR 190m, he added.

In the last three years, the company has acquired more than 100 companies, the executive said. Last year was its most active year to date, with 42 transactions representing a total enterprise value of up to EUR 1bn, he added.

This year, the company announced the acquisition of Moloni, a Portuguese provider of SaaS solutions; Soluciones Online SA, the Argentina-based software company providing a system for management and billing solutions; BuchhaltungsButler, the Germany-based developer of financial management software with a focus on accounting automation; and H&H, the Germany-based software solution provider for municipal finance.

Visma started in Norway and it has expanded gradually into the rest of the Nordic countries, and subsequently in Continental Europe and Latin-America, Talleraas Holen said. The company is now expanding into countries like Belgium, Spain and Portugal, he added. Visma also made its first acquisitions in France and Germany in 2022, he added. In Spain, Visma has acquired three companies and has a clear ambition to build a market leading position within B2B software in the coming years, he added.

Visma has bought the Spanish companies Woffu, a time management platform; Declarando, a software company engaged in providing tax reporting solution for self-employed; and Holded, a provider of business software.

The company’s growth has historically been self-financed, through a combination of profit from existing operations and debt, Talleraas Holen said. This will also be the case going forward, he added.

Meanwhile, Visma announced in September 2021 that it was considering an IPO on the Oslo Stock Exchange during 2023, depending on several factors, including market conditions, he said. With the prevailing market conditions, the company is not currently actively pursuing such plans, he added. 

The last share transaction in Visma was in September 2021, when three institutional investors bought shares from existing investors, Talleraas Holen said. According to the executive, the company’s current shareholder structure is Hg Capital and co-investors (54,8%), GIC (18,1%), Visma’s management (6,5%), CPPIB (6,1%), Warburg Pincus (4,7%), ICG (3,3%), TPG (3,1%), General Atlantic (1,7%), Norway’s state pension fund - Folketrygdfondet – (0,6%), Aeternum Capital (0,6%) and Vind (0,4%).  

Visma achieved EUR 2.06bn in revenue in 2022 (+19% growth Y/Y) and EBITDA of EUR 587m in EBITDA in 2022 (+11%), Talleraas Holen said. 

Visma delivers digital tools for companies and organizations to manage and connect their critical operations. The group consists of 170 companies across 25 countries in Europe and Latin-America, the executive said. 

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