Transactions

January 2015
Vienna, Austria
received a majority investment from
New York, NY


Background

The relationship between Marlin & Associates and privately held AIM Software extended more than 8 years to 2007. During that time, Marlin and AIM’s CEO founder /CEO had regular discussions about the future of the company – and how best to position the company for an eventual strategic exit.

In 2014, the founder approached M&A with a dilemma. While he still was not ready for a full strategic exit, management believed that they needed a partner to help them expand the business beyond the company’s base in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom. The company was generating a great deal of cash from its award-winning Reference Data and Risk Management software products, but global expansion would require increased investment in product and marketing – and management; and would increase the risk profile of the business. The founder /CEO and other shareholders also wanted to take some chips off the table.

AIM engaged Marlin as strategic and financial advisor. Marlin worked with AIM for over a year before approaching potential partners. During that time, Marlin personnel worked with management to better describe the company’s new suite of products and strategic direction including its shift from a customized software developer with license and maintenance pricing to a customer-focused product company with highly configurable SaaS based products and a subscription pricing. Marlin advised on Key Performance Indicators to track and helped prepare financial models showing financial and operating statistics. The strategy description, repositioning and additional metrics helped potential partners understand AIM’s strengths, and opportunities.



When the timing was right, Marlin leveraged its extensive industry relationships with both industry players and financial sponsors to communicate AIM’s strengths, and desires in an effort to identify the right partner for the Company. While many firms expressed serious interest, in January 2015, AIM selected Welsh Carson, Anderson & Stowe as its partner.  The New York-based private equity firm was prepared to invest primary capital into the business to accelerate the company's high-growth expansion plans and also to provide liquidity to existing shareholders. They also brought considerable management and technical expertise to the partnership – and were willing to allow the existing shareholders to retain a significant amount of equity.  There were a number of factors that made this transaction complex, including managing tax consequences to both the selling shareholders and new investor. Marlin worked with management as well as with the shareholder’s and investor’s legal, accounting and tax advisors to determine the best structure under which to complete a transaction. The result was a transaction and a partnership that worked for all.

"The Marlin team was instrumental in helping AIM to get this transaction completed," said Martin Buchberger, AIM Software's Founder and CEO. "Marlin's preparation was extremely thorough, and their execution was flawless. Their industry knowledge, expertise and passion were both apparent and invaluable, and they demonstrated unwavering commitment, integrity and hard work."

Marlin served as AIM's exclusive financial and strategic advisor in the company's majority investment from Welsh Carson. The capital invested by Welsh Carson will be used to help the company expand to new markets and increase its product line.  Initially, capital will be used to significantly expand the number of AIM technical and sales employees, as well as significantly increase the company’s visibility through marketing and public relations as the company continues to expand globally. AIM also plans to utilize the new capital for future acquisitions that add new capabilities in adjacent markets or advance AIM’s geographic footprint.

Marlin & Associates' Client, AIM Software, Has Received a Majority Investment From Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

January 15, 2015

NEW YORK, NY, Jan 15, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) -- Marlin & Associates, the boutique investment banking and strategic advisory firm, announced today that its client AIM Software ("AIM"), a leading provider of data management software products to the financial services industry, has received a majority investment from Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe ("WCAS"), a private equity firm focused on investing in high growth businesses.

In connection with this transaction, WCAS is also investing primary capital into the business, which will be used to further accelerate the company's geographic expansion as well as organic and inorganic growth initiatives. The existing management team, led by founder and CEO Martin Buchberger, will continue to operate the business and will maintain a significant ownership stake in AIM.

Martin Buchberger stated, "We are excited to have found the right partner in Welsh Carson, which brings impressive expertise, strong intellectual capital and an investment focus that is consistent with AIM Software's culture. The Marlin and Associates team was the ideal partner to aid us in this transaction. Their industry knowledge, expertise and passion were both apparent and invaluable. They demonstrated unwavering commitment, integrity and hard work."

AIM Software's press release can be read here.

Jonathan Kaufman, a partner with Marlin & Associates, said, "We are extremely pleased to have served as the exclusive financial and strategic advisor to AIM and to have helped them initiate and complete this highly strategic transaction. We expect that the company's unique business applications and strong culture combined with WCAS's highly successful track record as a strategic partner will create a winning combination."

Marlin & Associates is one of the most active firms advising buyers and sellers of U.S. and international middle-market firms that provide software, data, and related services. With offices in New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Toronto, the firm has been the recipient of numerous awards and has advised on more than 200 transactions.

AIM Software, based in Vienna Austria, has been providing data management applications to the financial services industry since 1999. With more than 100 clients, and offices in Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, AIM offers best-in-class business applications designed to work together in a fully integrated business suite. For further information, please visit www.aimsoftware.com.

About Marlin & Associates

Marlin & Associates is based in New York City, with offices in San Francisco, CA, Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada. It has been the recipient of numerous awards including "Middle-Market Investment Bank of the Year," "Middle-Market Financing Agent of the Year - Equity," and "TMT Advisory Bank of the Year." Two transactions on which Marlin & Associates advised have been recognized as "Deals-of-the Decade." Marlin & Associates' team of professionals has advised on over 200 information-technology transactions. For more information please visit www.MarlinLLC.com.

Marlin & Associates Securities LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marlin & Associates Holding LLC, is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a FINRA/SIPC member firm (www.finra.org). Investment banking and/or securities are offered through Marlin & Associates Securities LLC.

Some recent clients that Marlin & Associates has advised include:

  • Infonetics of Campbell, CA which Marlin & Associates advised in its sale to IHS Inc. IHS;
  • Alacra, Inc. of New York, NY which Marlin & Associates advised on it strategic alliance with NICE Actimize, a NICE Systems NICE business;
  • Wisers Information Limited of Hong Kong, China which Marlin & Associates advised on its capital raise from SAIF Partners;
  • Tagetik Software srl of Lucca, Italy which Marlin & Associates advised on its $36M capital raise from White Bridge Investments S.p.A.;
  • RevSpring Inc. of Wixom, Michigan which Marlin & Associates advised on its acquisition of Talksoft Corporation;
  • Current Analysis of Washington, D.C. which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Progressive Digital Media plc (aim:PRO);
  • Blackstone BX and the Goldman Sachs GS, Merchant Banking Division (together, the "Sponsors") which Marlin & Associates advised on their acquisition of Ipreo Holdings LLC ("Ipreo") from affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. ("KKR") KKR;
  • ByAllAccounts, Inc. of Woburn, Massachusetts which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Morningstar, Inc. MORN;
  • SpryWare LLC of Chicago, Illinois which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale to Pico Quantitative Trading Holdings LLC;
  • NPD Group of Port Washington, New York which Marlin & Associates advised on its acquisition of Leisure Trends Group;
  • MarketAxess Holdings Inc. MKTX of New York, New York which Marlin & Associates advised on its sale of Greenline Financial Technologies to CameronTec; and
  • Bain Capital Ventures' portfolio company ABILITY Network Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota which Marlin & Associates advised on its merger with IVANS.

 

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