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Tue 23rd Jun 2015 - Insight Venture Partners to acquire Fourth
Insight Venture Partners to acquire Fourth: Fourth, the software partner to the hospitality and leisure industries, is to be acquired by Insight Venture Partners, a specialist technology-focused private equity firm, from ECI Partners, which has majority-owned the business for four years. The two parties have signed an unconditional agreement, with the transaction – the value of which is undisclosed – set to complete in July. Fourth, which works with more than 1,100 companies across the spectrum of leisure and hospitality around the world, will join an impressive array of technology investments at Insight Venture Partners – other portfolio companies include Hootsuite, Kony, Photobox and Shopify. Previous investments by the group include Alibaba, Tumblr and Twitter. Fourth’s new incoming majority shareholder will pave the way for the continued expansion of the Fourth product portfolio as well as increased investment in innovation, operations and services. As part of the deal, the existing management team lead by long-serving chief executive Ben Hood will remain at the helm to oversee the next phase in the development of the company. Hood said: “It has been a very exciting stage of the Fourth journey with ECI supporting the team and its vision. We look forward to an exciting future given Insight Venture Partner’s international software growth expertise. We could not be happier to partner with Insight and we are confident in their support of Fourth in our next stage of growth.” Fourth, which was established by restaurant and hospitality entrepreneurs Derek and Edwina Lilley, works with a number of leading hospitality firms such as CenterParcs, Eataly, Fuller’s, Hilton, Hyatt, PizzaExpress, Soho House, Wagamama and Zuma. Its systems now operate as integral part of leisure businesses in more than 50 countries, supported by seven Fourth business centres around the world. Ross Devor, Principal, Insight Venture Partners, said: “Fourth is on a remarkable growth trajectory, delivering market-leading SaaS (software as a service) solutions focused on the hospitality industry’s most important cost drivers. We believe Fourth has an enormous opportunity ahead and we are excited to support the company’s vision to build a leading global business.” David Ewing, managing partner, ECI, added: “Fourth is another UK success story. It has been a pleasure working alongside Ben and the team to help Fourth become a world leader in their sector. Derek, Edwina and Ben were looking for a partner who would support the internationalisation of their business and ECI are delighted to have been a part of that journey.”

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