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Exclusive: Apse-backed Kallidus to return to market

Kallidus, a UK-based e-learning and talent management software provider owned by private equity firm Apse Capital, will be back on the market, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

This publication has learnt that the company is likely to launch a sale process by the end of this year or at the beginning of the next, according to two sources familiar with the business.

The first source added that the business is likely to be marketed off an EBITDA of around £6 million, with price expectation in the 12-15x region.

“Despite a tenure of only three years, Apse is likely to put the business back on the market very soon. This is because the company has grown considerably and is a solid asset that generates strong recurring revenue with a wide customer base,” a second source told this publication.

Founded in 2000 and based in Cirencester, Kallidus provides businesses with its proprietary software suite, which includes talent management, HR, recruitment, onboarding and e-learning tools. Its client base comprises more than 800 UK and global companies, with over 1.6 million users.

The company generated revenue of approximately £12 million and EBITDA of around £2.5 million in 2021 and forecasted revenue of £18 million and EBITDA of £6.5 million for 2022.

Apse acquired Kallidus from private equity firm FPE Capital in March 2019, in a deal that generated a 3x MoC and 31% IRR return for the seller.

Since then, the company has completed several add-on acquisitions, including the purchases of UK-based e-learning provider Engage in Learning in 2020 and US-headquartered people operations platform Sapling in 2021.

Concurrently with this latest acquisition, Kallidus receive £26.7 million in financing through a senior secured unitranche facility and a capex acquisition facility from private debt specialist Kartesia, to finance the company’s existing debt and support Sapling’s acquisition.

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