The NASDAQ-listed Thryv Holdings has closed the acquisition of Sensis from Platinum Equity and Telstra for approximately $250 million (US$200 m) in cash.
In connection with the acquisition, Thryv entered into a new term loan facility for US$700 million and refinanced its existing US$175 million revolving credit facility.
Thryv said the term loan facility was used, in part, to finance the acquisition, to pay off existing debt under the revolving credit facility and to pay fees and expenses related to the acquisition and related financing.
“This is a transformational acquisition for Thryv, and one that will help Australian small businesses (SMBs) better compete in a digital economy,” said Thryv CEO and President Joe Walsh.
“COVID-19 has radically reshaped the perspective of small businesses around the globe. Solutions that ensure SMBs have the tools they need to generate confidence and convenience for their customers have gone from a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’ in this post-pandemic world.
“The acquisition of Sensis follows our strategy of expanding internationally where small businesses are ready to modernise their operations in order to serve their customers faster and more efficiently – from anywhere, including mobile devices.”
Thryv’s flagship SaaS product, Thryv, enables small businesses to easily accept appointments, build digital customer lists, email and text customers, send reminders and notifications, deliver estimates and invoices, accept contactless payments, and generate online ratings and reviews.
Sensis CEO John Allan, who will lead Thryv’s Australian operations and report to Walsh, said the acquisition made sense from a customer—and organisational—alignment perspective.
“Our organisations share a similar heritage through our profitable Yellow and White Pages brands, which we will continue to develop,” Allan said.
“Both organisations aim to be the primary partner of SMBs by helping them establish, grow and run their day-to-day business activities from their mobile phone.
“In recent years, we’ve seen many Australian businesses forced to invest more in IT platforms than actual employees. Thryv ends that fractured, costly, and complex approach.
“We also look forward to our continued partnership with Telstra, which will include continuing to provide them with the services they need to meet their regulatory obligations,” Allan said.
Platinum Equity Managing Director Adam Cooper said, “Thryv is the ideal home for Sensis and this sale culminates a six-year transformation process that leveraged every aspect of our global M&A and operational tool kit.
“I’m grateful for the partnership we forged with John Allan, the Sensis leadership team and Telstra during our ownership. The company embraced the business transformation necessary to succeed in a rapidly evolving market and today Sensis is a nimble, multi-channel marketing business and an outstanding opportunity for Thryv’s international expansion. We have great respect for the Australian market and will continue to seek opportunities to invest in the region.”
Walsh said that Thryv works with more than 300,000 small businesses throughout the United States.
“While I’m sure there will be some differences in the Australian market,” said Walsh, “small business owners in both countries are no-doubt facing similar challenges—both are struggling to compete with national chains and increasingly-large and monopolistic tech titans who seek to dominate online.
“By introducing the Thryv software to the Australian market, we’re confident we can make an impact on Australian SMBs, the five million people they employ, and the consumers who rely on their small business success.”