Private equity group Apax Partners has led a deal to buy software group Paradigm, which sells its technology to oil and gas explorers and producers, for about $1 billion in cash.
Apax and specialist IT investment firm JMI Equity said on Monday they had agreed to buy Paradigm, owned by U.S. investment group Fox Paine for the last ten years.
Paradigm, which has over 700 customers and operations in the United States, Europe and Asia, helps engineers to make drilling and production decisions by analyzing seismic data.
The deal will allow Apax to tap into the potentially lucrative oil and gas markets as energy companies continue to drill in more challenging locations.
One of Europe's largest private equity groups with operations around the world, Apax has had extensive experience in the software and IT sectors, investing some $1.7 billion of equity in companies including anti-virus developer Sophos and Autonomy.
Fox Paine acquired the business in 2002 for some $100 million, taking private a then small U.S. listed company which it saw as being overlooked by institutional investors.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Simmons & Co. advised Apax, with UBS and Royal Bank of Canada providing debt financing. Jefferies advised Paradigm.
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