In this special edition of Supply Chain Matters This Week in Supply Chain Tech, we highlight news of the acquisition of business planning technology provider Anaplan by private equity firm Thoma Bravo.

 

The Announcement

Yesterday, Anaplan, provider of a native Cloud financial and integrated business announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Thoma Bravo, a software focused private equity firm, for a stated price of $66.00 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $10.7 billion.

The offer represents a premium of approximately 46 percent to the volume weighted average price of Anaplan stock for the five days ending March 18, 2022.

The transaction, which was reportedly been unanimously approved by the Anaplan Board of Directors, is expected to close in the first half of 2022 subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Anaplan stockholders and regulatory approval. Upon completion of the transaction, Anaplan’s common stock will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Founded in 2006, Anaplan has amassed over 1,600 worldwide customers and is categorized in the financial planning tech sector. Of late, the company has made some inroads in functionality addressing integrated business planning connected with supply chain planning. This provider’s proprietary Hyperblock® technology allows businesses to contextualize real-time performance, connect strategy and planning processes and forecast future outcomes in business performance.

 

Added Background

The Ferrari Consulting and Research Group’s 2022 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains Research Advisory (Available for complimentary downloading in our Research Center) includes a prediction that the supply chain technology segment will feature a continued investment boom in market consumption, added equity investment and M&A activity. Thus far in 2022, indications are that big money continues to be associated with supply chain management and B2B supply chain business network focused technology developments.

Thoma Bravo is noted as one of the largest private equity firms globally, with reportedly more than $103 billion in assets under management as of the end of 2021. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors, and has had investment history in areas of both supply chain management focused and industry specific B2B platform technology and more recently a concentration in the B2B platform expansions.

Their involvement in supply chain planning dates back to a funding in i2 Technologies  and their subsequent acquisition of Manugistics. The firm exited i2 in 2019.

In 2017, the firm acquired Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX), an industry platform focused on the supply management process needs for healthcare providers and suppliers. That investment remains ongoing.

They had a prior investment in global process-based manufacturing B2B industry platform Elemica which the firm exited in 2019.

In June 2020, the firm acquired aerospace and defense B2B industry platform provider Exostar. The stated goal was to leverage the expertise in enterprise software capabilities for complex industries to further expand Exostar’s platform capabilities.

Concerning the Anaplan acquisition, Holden Spaht, Managing Director indicated:

Anaplan is a clear leader in Connected Planning, solving critical business priorities for the world’s largest enterprises as they implement strategic and complex digital transformations. We have followed Anaplan for years and have seen the incredible value they bring customers through their best-in-class planning platform. We look forward to leveraging Thoma Bravo’s extensive operational and investment expertise in enterprise software to support Anaplan in its future growth.”

High Valuation

In this specific announcement of the taking Anaplan private, the valuation of the company in excess of $10 billion is of the most significance.

In its reporting of the Anaplan acquisition, Business Network CNBC observed that other activist investors had taken a recent stake in the planning tech provider. According to CNBC, the company’s stock peaked in February 2021 and was down 40 percent as of last week.

Our Supply Chain Matters readers will likely recall the announced acquisition of supply chain and manufacturing planning technology provider Blue Yonder (the former JDA Software and i2Techologies) in April 2021 for a transactional value of $7.1 billion. That announcement came after weeks of back and forth speculation and possible suitors.

The stated strategy for Blue Yonder being part of a broader Panasonic Connected Solutions Company  was a combining of Panasonic’s strength in industrial engineering, IoT and edge technologies with Blue Yonder’s AI/ML-driven supply chain and commerce technology.

By our lens, a comparison of Blue Yonder’s inherent sales and operation as well as supply chain process support depth does not compare with that of Anaplan. Thus, there is likely far more to anticipate in Thoma Bravo’s ultimate plans for Anaplan, or that market forces drove up the valuation.

Thus is the ongoing hot state of supply chain and business planning technology and the monies flowing into this sector. One of other developments sure to come in the coming weeks and months.

 

Bob Ferrari

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