Apax Partners LLP (Apax) announced Monday that it has reached a definitive agreement to invest approximately $450 mullion to acquire a significant minority stake in IBS Software, an Indian provider of modern Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions to the global travel and logistics industry, from United States-based fund Blackstone.

Following the transaction, Apax will partner closely with IBS Software’s Founder and Executive Chairman, V K Mathews, who will remain the majority shareholder, IBS Software said in a statement.

“We’re excited to partner with Apax as we enter a new phase in our mission to transform how travel companies operate in a digital world,

“This investment is an endorsement of our strategy and our commitment and contribution to the industry, and we have a shared vision with Apax for the future of the business,” saidV K Mathews, Founder and Executive Chairman of IBS Software.

Anand Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer of IBS Software, added: “As the travel industry rapidly embraces digitalization, we have a vital role to play in helping our customers accelerate revenues, drive efficiency and create differentiated customer experiences.”

According to him, Apax has deep experience in partnering with leading SaaS providers and will be a strategic partner for IBS Software as they embark on a new phase of growth.

Founded in 1997 with a vision of redefining the future of travel through technology innovation, IBS Software provides next-generation SaaS solutions that power the most mission-critical operations at the world’s leading aviation, tour and cruise, hospitality and logistics companies.

With a comprehensive portfolio of modular, cloud-based solutions purpose-built for the travel industry, IBS Software helps travel companies accelerate innovation and drive efficiency across a broad set of core business processes, including cargo and logistics, flight operations, passenger services, loyalty programs, cruise operations, energy and resource logistics and hospitality distribution platforms.

The firm is backed by a team of 4000 professionals across the world.

“Having closely monitored the travel software sector over the last several years, IBS Software stood out to us as uniquely positioned in the industry, offering a next-gen software suite that we believe is truly unrivalled,” said Jason Wright, Partner, Apax.

“Over the last two decades, IBS Software has invested in products, innovation, and culture, while continuing to scale the business,

“We believe there is tremendous growth potential ahead and look forward to leveraging our software experience to help IBS Software become a world leader in travel and logistics software,” he added.

Amit Dixit, Head of Asia Private Equity, Blackstone, said following the transformation to a SaaS company with global leadership in travel and logistics, IBS is already one of the largest enterprise SaaS companies out of India.

“Value creation at IBS Software demonstrates our business-building approach to investing and reinforces our conviction in Technology as a sectoral theme,” he added.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close end of the second quarter.

J.P. Morgan is acting as financial advisor to IBS Software and Blackstone, Drew & Napier LLC is acting as legal counsel to IBS Software and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is acting as legal counsel to Blackstone.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel and Jefferies LLC is acting as financial advisor to Apax.

Apax is a global private equity advisory firm who has worked to inspire growth and ideas that transform businesses.

The firm has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $65 billion.

The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of internet/consumer, tech, services, and healthcare.

Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager who seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for its investors.

Its $991 billion in assets under management include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, private and liquid credit, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, public securities and secondary funds, all on a global basis. 

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