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U.S. Private Equity Giant Pays $10.7 Billion for SAP Rival Started in an English Barn

Adam Jeffery | CNBC
  • Anaplan was founded in 2006 in a barn in Yorkshire, England, by Guy Haddleton, Sue Haddleton and Michael Gould.
  • The enterprise software firm boasts over 1,900 customers and is viewed as a competitor to the likes of SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.
  • The deal, announced Monday, will see Thoma Bravo pay $66 per share in an all-cash transaction.

U.S. private equity giant Thoma Bravo has bought British enterprise software firm Anaplan for $10.7 billion.

The deal, announced Monday, will see Thoma Bravo pay $66 per share in an all-cash transaction.

Anaplan was founded in 2006 in a barn in Yorkshire, England, by Guy Haddleton, Sue Haddleton and
Michael Gould.

The financial planning software vendor boasts over 1,900 customers around the world and is viewed as a competitor to the likes of SAP, Oracle and Microsoft.

Frank Calderoni, chairman and CEO of Anaplan, said in a statement that the takeover marks the start of a new chapter for the company.

"We are confident that Thoma Bravo's resources and insights will help us accelerate and scale our growth strategy," he said.

Thoma Bravo has more than $103 billion in assets under management.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2022 providing there are no objections from regulators or Anaplan's stockholders. Goldman Sachs and Qatalyst Partners are acting as financial advisors.

Prior to listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 2018 with the ticker "PLAN," Anaplan raised over $240 million in funding from the likes of Amazon- and Tesla-backer Baillie Gifford, as well as Salesforce. It also relocated its headquarters to San Francisco, California.

Over the past 20 years, Thoma Bravo has acquired or invested in more than 375 companies.

Holden Spaht, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo, said in a statement that his firm has followed Anaplan -— which it called a leader in "connected planning" — for several years.

Last week it emerged that activist investors had taken a stake in Anaplan.

Keith Meister's Corvex Management and Scott Ferguson's Sachem Head Capital Management teamed up to pursue changes at Anaplan.

According to regulatory filings released on Thursday, Corvex and Sachem Head bought Anaplan shares because they viewed them as undervalued and "an attractive investment opportunity." Jonathan Soros, a son of investor George Soros, also joined in the buying spree through JS Capital Management.

The three firms combined own about 9% of Anaplan's outstanding shares, the filings show.

Anaplan's stock peaked in February 2021, and last week it was down around 40% on last year's highs.

On Monday, the company's share price surged over 25% to around $65 a share in pre-market trading.

— Additional reporting by CNBC's Jordan Novet.

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