Wednesday, 23 January 2019 11:00

Infor raises US$1.5 billion, plans IPO

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Infor CEO Charles Phillips (left) with other Infor executives Infor CEO Charles Phillips (left) with other Infor executives

Business software vendor Infor has announced an agreement that will see its two major shareholders inject another US$1.5 billion into the company.

The arrangement will see Koch Equity Development and Golden Gate Capital invest US$1.5 billion in Infor, in what the company describes as a milestone towards a potential IPO later this year or in 2020.

iTWire asked Infor chief executive Charles Phillips why the time was right to take the company public after a successful period in private ownership.

"We had to make accelerated investments to rewrite applications for the cloud. We have made those investments and have a full suite of products as of this past May. It's not uncommon to stay private while making these one-time investments to get through a technology transition," said Phillips.

"With the restructuring phase behind us, there was the consideration of branding and having public currency. We've also built up a large base of recurring cloud revenue and have more consistency. Those are the positives of being public. There is always a tradeoff and depending on what phase a company is in, one may be better than the other. We are in a different phase now."

Koch invested more than US$2 billion in Infor approximately two years ago.

"Koch was a customer of Infor before we became an investor in the Company, and Koch Industries' companies continue to move their most mission critical applications to Infor CloudSuites," said Koch executive vice-president and chief executive of enterprises for Koch Industries, Jim Hannan,

"Infor's innovative products have helped lead our digital transformation as we continue to deploy them globally for 120,000 employees."

Golden Gate Capital made its first investment in Infor in 2002.

"Infor has undergone a remarkable evolution over the years. We remain strong supporters of the Company's strategy and leadership team as they pursue their next phase of growth and continue to enhance the operations of businesses across a range of sizes and industries," said Golden Gate Capital managing director David Dominik.

Infor has spent approximately $2.5 billion in product design and development over the last five years, delivering more than 475 new products, 1,870 integrations, and 20,700 industry features in its CloudSuite product line.

According to the company, CloudSuite is the only fully multi-tenant ERP suite spanning front and back office applications, plus logistics with global support in terms of languages, currencies, and localisations.

Infor has more than 68,000 customers in more than 170 countries. Nine thousand five hundred of them use CloudSuite products, which now account for 70% of Infor's software licence revenue.

Those customers include 15 of the top 20 global retailers, 17 of the top 20 global banks, nine of the 10 largest global hotel brands, and eight of the top 10 global luxury brands. Infor also has a strong presence in the aerospace, high tech, healthcare, automotive, retail sectors.

Customers routinely lower costs by 25% or more by retiring mods (customisations), eliminating big bang upgrades, and reducing infrastructure costs after moving to CloudSuite, Infor officials claimed.

"Companies see the value in shifting their enterprise applications to the cloud but can't make that transition until critical industry features are replicated there. Infor built these previously bespoke features as standard cloud services and now has access to valuable data across business functions to build predictive analytics and insightful correlations on our Coleman AI platform," said Phillips.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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