Last week, Ex Libris announced last week that it was being acquired by Leeds Equity Partners. According to Harratz.com, the deal is worth “an estimated $170 million.” The company had previously been owned by Francisco Partners, who purchased Ex Libris in November, 2006 for approximately $60-65 million. Selling at roughly three times the price paid only two years ago, I’d say that Francisco received a pretty good return on its investment. Leeds is invested in a number of industries, from administrative support software, to for-profit post-secondary education, to property management systems, to furniture for education, healthcare and hospitality. A description of Leeds culled from their website:
Leeds Equity Partners is a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training and information and business services industries (the “Knowledge Industries”). … We focus on investments across all of the Knowledge Industries, which includes education, training and information and business services. We broadly define these sectors to include businesses offering products, services and solutions that enable individuals and enterprises to be more effective in an increasingly global, hyper-competitive, information-intensive and fast-changing marketplace. … Since 1993, Leeds Equity has invested in more than 20 companies across all of the Knowledge Industries, representing a total enterprise value of more than $4.1 billion.
The announcement came quick on the heels of the announcement that Carl Grant would be re-joining Ex Libris as the President, North America. Carl is a long-time supporter of NISO and standards development, having spent time as Chair of the Standards Development Committee, as a member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer, and a term as Chair of the Board. Carl had been the President of CARE Affiliates, a service firm that provided support for open source systems implementors. CARE Affiliates was acquired by LibLime in August.