WestBridge Capital completes first exit from SME fund

PRIVATE equity house WestBridge Capital has completed its first exit from the WestBridge SME Fund, releasing its 34 per cent stake in software company Kallidus Holdings Limited (formerly e2train) via a secondary buyout to FF&P Private Equity.

The deal achieves a 3.7 multiple return for WestBridge investors, and an IRR of 32 per cent over five years.

Kallidus, which is headquartered in Cirencester, supplies human capital management software to mid-market European companies and public sector organisations.  

L to R Philip Pyle, John Caines, Valerie Kendall, Rob Caul

WestBridge Capital supported a management buyout of the company in October 2009 and has provided its trademark mix of financial and management support ever since.  WestBridge invested further in 2010 to support a strategic acquisition, which broadened the company’s SaaS offering. 

Significantly, 50 per cent of the company’s revenues are recurring from a loyal and committed customer base.

Turnover, profitability and employee numbers all trebled during WestBridge’s holding period.

Rob Caul, who has been running Kallidus since 2002, will stay on as chief executive.  He says:

"We have enjoyed working with WestBridge Capital.  They have proven to be a supportive partner with a real understanding of the challenges that face a growing business.”

Valerie Kendall, partner at WestBridge Capital, added:

"It has been a pleasure to work with Rob and his management team. They have transformed Kallidus in recent years, such that is now has a market leading SaaS product, robust internal systems and a comprehensive management structure.  Kallidus is poised to go from strength to strength and we wish Rob and the team every success in the future.

"We are delighted to have played our part and delivered a solid return for our investors along the way.

“Since raising our WestBridge SME Fund, we’ve always been of the view that management teams should do extremely well with us as partners because the track record and experience of our team is significantly deeper and wider than many investors out there."

“We work closely with management to support the SMEs we invest in – whether it’s providing constructive and practical advice or making business introductions – anything that ultimately helps grow the business and enhance returns for our investors."

“As ever, we remain on the lookout for high quality management teams to support."