After a failed attempt to go public, EPiServer's (news, site) future possible routes included either trying the IPO again or selling to someone. They chose the latter. The buyer is IK Investment Partners, a European private equity firm, with a surprising business focus.

The Deal

IK agreed to buy EPi from Amadeus Capital,Martin Bjäringer, Monterro Holdings, Northzone Ventures, Mikael Runhem,and family and employees. Financials for the deal were not disclosed. Atthe time of the IPO, EPiServer was valued at 600-700 million SEK.

IDGin Sweden reports that EPiServer CEO Martin Henricson wants to staywith the company. It will be interesting to see how IK reacts to thatgiven the rather uneventful track record and history Henricson has hadat EPiServer.

Henricson stresses one of the benefits of theacquisition as being able to benefit from IK’s “proven investmentapproach and track record of building successful companies.”

Helena Stjernholm, Partner at IK, said:

...Together,we believe that IK and the management team and its highly skilledemployees can further drive the organic growth in Sweden as well asinternationally, and position the Company to take an active part in thefuture market consolidation.

Based on these comments, it seemsEPi may either get a boost with further expansions and acquisitions ledby IK, or get sold off to a bigger WCM vendor on a path of marketconsolidation.

Would You Like Some Chips with That?

Who is the buyer IK Investment? 

Learning Opportunities

In the world of IT, IKInvestment is not a frequent flyer. IK has neighborly to EPi Nordicroots and manages €5.7 billion in funds, according to the company’swebsite.

None of IK’s current investments include technologycompanies. Their range is primarily retail/wholesale and manufacturing.

IK’srecent purchases include Snacks International, Colosseum Dental andAgros Nova (juice and drinks, food processing company). Will they know what to do with aWeb CMS company? Or, is it business is business and templates and content optimization is notreally that different from dentures and chips?

Acquisitionsare usually seen as positive signs for those being acquired. Somehow,this one leaves a strange aftertaste with hints of turbulent times and notes of uncertainty for EPiServer. Customers andprospects in the US market may want to speak (and by “speak” I mean“really question”) to EPi about their future plans in this geographybefore planning on further investments in this Web CMS vendor.