August 2, 2010, 5:53 PM

Private equity firm buys a controlling stake in e-mail specialist Emailvision

San Francisco-based Francisco Partners’ offer values Emailvision at $109 million.

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San Francisco-based Francisco Partners has acquired a majority stake in Emailvision, a European e-mail service provider that has begun operating in North America in the past year.

The private equity firm says it acquired a 59% stake in the company at a share price that values Emailvision at 83 million euros, or $109 million. That would put Francisco’s investment at more than $64 million. Francisco says the purchase price represents a premium of 35% over Emailvision’s share price on the Alternext Paris stock exchange last week, and a 42% premium over the company’s average share price for the last 40 trading days.

“We firmly believe that this transaction delivers value to our shareholders that would have taken years to achieve as a listed company,” says Nick Heys, founder and CEO of Emailvision. “In addition, the financial backing of Francisco Partners provides Emailvision with the means to further accelerate international expansion and product innovation.”

Heys and Guy Porre, Emailvision’s chief commercial officer and general manager, have agreed to sell their holdings, which represented 10.5% of the capital of Emailvision, to EMV Holdco SAS, the acquisition vehicle controlled by Francisco Partners that is acquiring the shares in Emailvision. Heys and Porre will keep their current management roles and Heys will become president of EMV Holdco.

As part of the deal, four Emailvision board members have resigned and EMV Holdco has named two new board members, Deep Shah and Neil Garfinkel.

“Francisco Partners is excited to partner with Emailvision to support its development,” says Shah, a partner at Francisco Partners. “We believe that the company has a world class software service for email marketing and a highly talented team.”

Emailvision announced last month first half revenues of 19.3 million euros (US$25.4 million), a 46% increase from the same period in 2009. The company provides e-mail marketing software called Campaign Commander using the software-as-a-service model in which the vendor hosts the software that client firms access via the web.

Francisco Partners has holdings in some 40 technology companies, including such vendors to online retailers as Webtrends and RedPrairie.

Pacific Crest Securities served as financial advisor and Jones Day and Aramis as legal advisors to Emailvision and its managers, respectively. Oddo Corporate Finance served as financial advisor and Franklin served as legal advisor to Francisco Partners.

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