Insight Venture Partners is said to put Ministry Brands on the block

After more than two years, Insight Venture Partners has put Ministry Brands up for sale, four sources said.

FT Partners is advising on the process, the people said.

Ministry Brands is the Lenoir City, Tennessee, provider of cloud-based technology for faith-based institutions, including churches, schools and camps.

Insight is seeking as much as $4 billion for the company, people said. News of the auction was first reported by Acuris, formerly Mergermarket.

The deal dates to December 2016 when Providence Equity Partners sold Ministry Brands to Insight Venture Partners. The transaction was valued north of $1 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time.

Founded in 2012, the company provides software to more than 115,000 churches and faith-based organizations in North America. About half its business is payments, a source said. Ministry is a combination of 31 different companies, including FellowshipOne, Clover Sites, MinistryLINQ and Clover Sites.

“They’re one of the most aggressive rollups ever,” one GP said.

Sales of rollups are tricky, sources said, pointing to the process for Ascensus. The provider of retirement-plan services was up for sale in 2018 and was put on hold in late November, Buyouts reported. Ascensus earlier this month ended up selling a minority, less than 25 percent, to Atlas Merchant Capital.

Some rollups are very successful. Consider AssuredPartners, which Apax Partners sold last week to GTCR in a deal valued at $5.1 billion, Buyouts said. AssuredPartners, an insurance broker, also follows a buy-and-build strategy.

Insight Venture Partners is the New York PE and venture capital firm that invests in software companies. In July, Insight’s Fund X closed on $6.3 billion.

Insight on Feb. 26 said it would buy a majority of the Genesis Partners IV portfolio. The firm took part in the $88 million round for Calm earlier this month and, in January, led the $25 million funding of Augury.

Ministry Brands, Insight and FT Partners could not be reached for comment. Genstar declined comment.

Action Item: For more information, see the Ministry Brands website here.