The sale of Orovia Education, a UK-based school software provider, has recently resumed after a cooling-off period, EducationInvestor Global can reveal.

The sale was launched last year, when Orovia, which generates annual EBITDA of around £3.5m, was targeting a valuation close to £70 million.

This publication has learnt that the process, which is run by Grant Thornton, has now been reignited, however with a lower price expectation of under £60 million.

“Despite the current high-multiple climate and the success achieved by several school software providers, a valuation of almost 20x was considerably too ambitious and needed to be reduced,” one of our sources said.

In addition to some trade buyers that have shown interest in the company, it is likely that the sale will also attract several private equity funds and private equity-backed platforms that are looking for further consolidation in the school software market.

“This sector has become extremely attractive, while the number of available assets is limited,” a second source said. “Strategic players might be willing to pay a high valuation for Orovia with the aim of leveraging their synergies while financial sponsors might bid to pursue a consolidation plan across the segment,” a second source said.

Founded in 2004 and based in Melton, East Yorkshire, Orovia sells payroll, HR and budgeting software to schools, independents and multi-academy trusts. Its suite of software-as-a-service (SaaS) products includes EduPay, a digital payroll system, and BPS, a budget-planning platform.

According to its website, Orovia has more than 4,500 education clients and a customer retention rate of 97%.

Grant Thornton declined to comment.

Date published: 23 March 2022

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