Carter Morse & Mathias ("CMM") is pleased to announce that etouches, Inc. ("etouches"), headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut, was acquired by the private equity firm HGGC, headquartered in Palo Alto, California. Carter Morse & Mathias, based in Southport, CT served as etouches's financial advisor for the transaction, which closed on May 9, 2017. The prior owners and senior management have re-invested their equity for a substantial minority stake in the business. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.
etouches is a global provider of cloud event management software (EMS) and venue sourcing. HGGC’s investment will help the rapidly growing business expand services and enhance its technology to win a greater share of the $6 billion global EMS market.
“We are very excited to partner with HGGC as we continue to enhance our offering and capitalize on the large whitespace in the market,” said Oni Chukwu, CEO of etouches. “The HGGC team’s experience in marketing technology gives them a very sophisticated understanding of both the challenges we face and the opportunity in front of us as enterprises transition from single-point solutions to suite solutions that manage the entire event lifecycle.”
“Under Oni’s leadership, etouches has become a premier provider of EMS solutions, more than doubling revenues since 2014,” said Steve Young, Co-Founder and Managing Director of HGGC. “We’re confident that the additional resources we can bring to bear will accelerate etouches’ already impressive growth and outpace the competition. Because we see etouches as a growth investment just starting to reach its potential, we’ve made this acquisition without leverage and are putting cash on the balance sheet to ensure nothing slows the company’s trajectory.”
“Most people don’t realize that event management is an enormous business expense, accounting for up to 3% of total revenue and nearly a quarter of all B2B marketing budgets—approximately $14 billion,” said Farouk Hussein, Principal at HGGC. “Organizations are hungry for a broad solution set that can be used by multiple stakeholders to address all event management needs, as well as a centralized data source that is critical for event analytics. etouches provides that solution, which tracks real-time customer engagement, drives overall lower event costs and increases ROI and productivity.”
HGGC is a leading middle-market private equity firm with over $4.3 billion in cumulative capital commitments. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., HGGC is distinguished by its “Advantaged Investing” model that enables the firm to source and acquire scalable businesses at attractive multiples through partnerships with management teams, founders and sponsors who reinvest alongside HGGC, creating a strong alignment of interests.
Oni Chukwu, etouches's CEO, commented, "This is the fourth time I have worked with the team at CMM. I have gained confidence and trust in CMM’s advice and deep M&A experience. Working with CMM, who had recently closed a transaction in our industry, was very helpful by providing guidance throughout the intensive transaction process."
Michael Carter, Managing Director of CMM, explained, "This is our fourth time working Oni, representing three different companies. It's a rare achievement when entrepreneurs are successful several times at different companies across multiple strategic transactions. We are very proud to be a valuable resource to Oni and his extraordinary team."
Other transaction advisors for etouches included Robinson & Cole, who served as legal advisors, and Fiondella, Milone & LaSarcina which served as the company's auditing firm. HGGC’s advisors included Kirkland & Ellis LLP who served as legal counsel, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP acted as financial and tax advisor, and Jordan Edmiston Group acted as a buy-side advisor to HGGC.