Portsmouth-based Bottomline Technologies sold to private equity firm

Thoma Bravo to pay $2.6 billion for financial technology firm
Bottomline Hq

Bottomline Technologies’ headquarters are in the Pease International Tradeport.

Bottomline Technologies in Portsmouth, created in 1989 to help companies move from paper checks to an electronic payment system, has been sold to a private equity firm in an all-cash transaction valued at $2.6 billion.

Under terms of the agreement Bottomline shareholders will receive $57 per share in cash.

Thoma Bravo LP, an American private equity and growth capital firm with offices in San Francisco, Chicago and Miami, acquired the firm, Bottomline announced Friday evening.

Report about the company’s possible sale were reported earlier this month by several news organizations financial payroll system had hired Deutsche Bank to explore strategic options, which include selling part or all of the company. Bloomberg broke the story, and Barron’s said it had confirmed it, based on anonymous sources.

“This transaction is an exciting next chapter for our company, our customers and our employees, and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Bottomline team,” Rob Eberle, CEO of Bottomline, said in the announcement.

“We have been executing against our strategy of establishing competitive advantage with a product set designed to transform business payments for companies and financial institutions around the world. Our partnership with Thoma Bravo will provide additional resources and greater flexibility to build on our leadership position, invest in continued innovation and accelerate go-to-market efforts to deliver increased value to customers,” Eberle added.  “Additionally, the transaction will allow Bottomline to benefit from the operating capabilities, capital resources and sector expertise of one of the most experienced and successful software and financial technology investors.”

Thoma Bravo describes itself as one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $91 billion in assets under management as of Sept. 30. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors.

“As the digital transformation of business accelerates, we see tremendous opportunity for Bottomline to continue capitalizing on its unique position, particularly in the large and growing B2B payments market, and successfully delivering its diverse portfolio of products that intelligently digitize the way businesses pay and get paid,” said Holden Spaht, a managing partner at Thoma Bravo. “Bottomline is well positioned in exciting and dynamic markets and we look forward to applying our operational and investment expertise in software and financial technology to support Bottomline in its next phase of growth.”

With the sale, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, Bottomline will become a privately held company.

As of the market closing on Friday afternoon, Bottomline’s stock was up 14.74 percent, to $56.13 per share.

Bottomline was founded by Daniel McGurl in Exeter in 1989 with the idea that companies didn’t need pre-cut paper checks to make their payments, that they could use an electronic automated system instead. Co-founder Jim Loomis was instrumental in the company’s product strategy, customer focus and collaborative culture.

Together, they oversaw the company’s growth, including its initial public offering in 1999, when its stock opened at $19 per share.

They were part of the company and its board of directors until 2016 when they did not seek re-election to the company’s board as part of a board refresh.

Bottomline, based at Pease International Tradeport, built its current, 100,000-square-foot, four-story headquarters in 2000.
The company has about 2,000 employees with additional offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific.

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