London, 14th August 2019 – UK lower mid-market investor, Tenzing, today announces that it has agreed to sell its investment in FMP Global to IRIS Software Group, backed by Hg, generating a 5.4x return.
Tenzing backed Justin Cottrell, Founder & CEO, and the management team of FMP Global in 2016. The company is a leading provider of global payroll services and software, which was founded in 2006. With operations spanning 135 countries, a treasury solution and proprietary software for employers and employees, FMP Global is a one-stop partner for businesses expanding overseas or growing domestically.
With Tenzing as its investment partner, FMP Global’s revenue has grown significantly and its profitability has accelerated as the business has widened its service offering, expanded overseas, and broadened its payroll expertise. During Tenzing’s investment, the business grew profits on average 28% every year, while scaling significantly, with its employee base growing 50%.
Tenzing’s value creation strategy emphasised supporting management in re-engineering FMP Global’s marketing strategy to fuel growth, with a specific focus on lead generation from Tenzing’s Entrepreneurs Panel. Tenzing also helped build FMP Global’s M&A capability, evidenced by the three acquisitions it made. These include the customer contract book of PKF Cooper Parry, a domestic payroll bureau, MCN Associates, serving US businesses, and a North American payroll bureau, broadening FMP Global’s international reach.
Christian Hamilton, Managing Partner of Tenzing commented: “We are delighted to complete Tenzing’s first exit and mark the culmination of our partnership. FMP Global is truly best-in-class in payroll process management and we part ways with the company positioned to win in a large and growing market. We are hugely grateful to Justin, Jim and their team for choosing us for this part of their journey and we look forward to watching their future success from the sidelines.”
Justin Cottrell, CEO of FMP Global, commented: “We enjoyed a shared vision with Tenzing for the future of FMP Global from the start. Throughout the last three years, they have supported my team and brought helpful advice and expertise to enable us to supercharge the business. We’re excited for the next stage of growth.”
This is Tenzing’s debut exit and demonstrates its ability to support buyouts of high growth, independent market leaders and work effectively with high energy management teams and Founders in order to grow businesses in the UK lower mid-market.
Tenzing was advised on the exit by Baird, PwC and Osborne Clarke.
As part of this transaction Tenzing will retain a minority interest in FMP.