InvestorsCorporateComplianceOctober 23, 2017

Wolters Kluwer Governance, Risk & Compliance signs agreement to divest Corsearch

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.

About Wolters Kluwer

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the health, tax & accounting, governance, risk & compliance, and legal & regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.

Forward-looking statements and other important legal information

This report contains forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by words such as “expect”, “should”, “could”, “shall” and similar expressions. Wolters Kluwer cautions that such forward-looking statements are qualified by certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from what is contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results to differ from these forward-looking statements may include, without limitation, general economic conditions; conditions in the markets in which Wolters Kluwer is engaged; behavior of customers, suppliers, and competitors; technological developments; the implementation and execution of new ICT systems or outsourcing; and legal, tax, and regulatory rules affecting Wolters Kluwer’s businesses, as well as risks related to mergers, acquisitions, and divestments. In addition, financial risks such as currency movements, interest rate fluctuations, liquidity, and credit risks could influence future results. The foregoing list of factors should not be construed as exhaustive. Wolters Kluwer disclaims any intention or obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  

Certain trademarks referenced are owned by Wolters Kluwer N.V. and its subsidiaries and may be registered in various countries.

This press release contains information which is to be made publicly available under Regulation (EU) 596/2014.