Vista Equity’s Recent Acquisitions Bulk Up

  • Omnitracs to be bought for $800 million
  • Vista’s two latest deals total nearly $2 billion
  • Deals come after fourth fund raises $3.5 billion

The cash purchase by Vista Equity for Omnitracs is expected to close by the end of the year. Communications chip maker Qualcomm launched Omnitracs in the 1980s with units installed in vehicles to allow managers to track their fleets via satellite.

Robert Smith, chairman, chief executive officer and founder of Vista Equity, cited the “compelling value proposition” of Omnitracs and said his firm will help it reach its full potential, according to a prepared statement. Vista Equity said it plans to strengthen and expand the company’s product offerings, but did not say whether the deal amounted to a platform or add-on acquisition.

Vista Equity did not return phone calls or emails from Buyouts.

A specialist in software, data and technology, Vista Equity Partners took Websense private in a $900 million deal for the Internet security specialist. The transaction was announced in May and closed in June.

And on June 1, 2012, Vista Equity closed its $2 billion acquisition of the British financial software vendor Misys plc, which was delisted from the London Stock Exchange, with plans to merge the business with its trade and risk-management software firm, Turaz.

All told, the three deals occupy the top of the disclosed dollar-value list of Vista Equity’s largest transactions since 2010, according to data from Thomson Reuters. (See table at right.)

Vista Equity appears to be putting money to work in bigger chunks after its better-than-expected fundraise for its flagship vehicle, Vista Equity Partners Fund IV, closed at $3.5 billion, ahead of its $2.5 billion target, in May 2012. Vista Equity cited “exceptional LP demand” for the fund’s success in a prepared statement at the time.

Among those limited partners, the $1.3 billion Vista Equity Partner Fund III fund drew a $100 million commitment from Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund in 2007. The investment earned the LP an internal rate of return of 34.2 percent as of Dec. 31, 2012, according to data compiled by Buyouts.

Vista Equity is currently raising funds for Vista Foundation Fund II with a target of $500 million, according to a report from sister publication Vista Equity’s first foundation fund invested in small-cap software firms with $400 million raised in 2010.

Smith founded the firm in 2000 along with Brian Sheth, president of Vista Equity, which operates offices in San Francisco, Austin and Chicago.