Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC) announces that, following a strategic review, it has agreed to sell Corsearch, its trademark solutions business, to Audax Private Equity for $140 million in cash.
On April 24, 2017, Wolters Kluwer announced a review of strategic alternatives for Corsearch, our trademark solutions unit that is part of GRC (Legal Services).
The industry in which Corsearch operates is evolving from providing traditional trademark clearance and protection services to delivering end-to-end digital solutions for brand management and marketing professionals. Although this presents new opportunities for Corsearch, Wolters Kluwer GRC has decided to focus its investment on developing its core regulatory compliance and risk management software and services for corporations, financial institutions, and law firms.
Tobias Hartmann, General Manager of Corsearch, said, “I am proud of all that Corsearch has achieved with Wolters Kluwer. We are excited to be partnering with Audax as their vision aligns strongly with Corsearch’s existing business and growth strategy. Audax’ operational and international experience will be a valued resource to us in the next stage of our growth.”
Geoffrey Rehnert, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Audax Group, said, “Corsearch is a leader in the trademark solutions field and has significant opportunities to capitalize on favorable industry dynamics and a healthy market environment. We look forward to working with Tobias Hartmann and the Corsearch team to build a leading platform through organic growth and add-on acquisitions.”
The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed prior to the end of 2017. Corsearch had revenues of approximately €50 million in 2016 and employs 211 FTEs in 9 countries. As previously indicated, Wolters Kluwer intends to mitigate the expected dilution to adjusted earnings per share by way of share buybacks.
Audax Private Equity has a track record of investing in – and building – middle market platform companies, fueling their revenue growth, optimizing their operations, and significantly increasing their long-term value.