ST. LOUIS, Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Funds advised by Apax Partners ("Apax"), a global private equity firm, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to acquire Answers Corporation ("Answers"), the parent company of Answers.com and a leading provider of cloud-based solutions that enhance customer acquisition and brand engagement, from Summit Partners, TA Associates, and founder shareholders. Members of Answers' senior management will invest alongside Apax Funds and will maintain a significant equity interest in the company. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Answers' mission is to empower consumers, brands and organizations by connecting them with the information they need to make better-informed decisions. The Answers Platform leverages the vast reach of the top-20 comScore site Answers.com, along with its leading cloud-based solutions ForeSee, Webcollage and ResellerRatings, to enable businesses and organizations to engage with customers at every interaction point, drive investment decisions from customer insights and deliver content that powers the customer experience.
"Over recent years, we have strategically transformed Answers from a global pure play Internet media entity into a premier provider of customer lifecycle solutions for enterprises. We've achieved this by enabling brands and organizations to manage and disseminate content, reach a large, highly engaged audience, and gain actionable insights into their experiences," said David Karandish, CEO of Answers. "We now look forward to working with Apax to accelerate our ongoing evolution."
Mitch Truwit, Co-CEO of Apax Partners, said, "We have been very impressed with the Answers growth story and with the skills and sophistication of David Karandish and his team. We are excited to partner with them in achieving their future plans, as they continue to broaden their offering and further shape the online ecosystem."
Marcelo Gigliani, Partner at Apax Partners, added, "Answers' strong positioning at the intersection between its community of millions of consumers and its thousands of enterprise client partners, enables the company to pursue unique growth opportunities. We look forward to supporting Answers' development through both organic growth initiatives and accretive strategic acquisitions."
Hythem El-Nazer, Director at TA Associates, said, "We are proud to have partnered with Answers, providing growth capital for strategic acquisitions to help drive the transformation of the business. TA invested in 2011 and guided Answers through its four Software as a Service (SaaS) acquisitions in the last 24 months, including originating its most recent acquisition of ForeSee Results in December 2013."
Peter Rottier, Principal at Summit Partners, added, "As the company's first institutional investor, Summit has had a partnership with David and his team since 2007. We've been extremely impressed with the company's accomplishments and are proud to have supported it throughout its impressive growth trajectory."
The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014, represents the largest acquisition of an Internet company in St. Louis, where Answers will continue to be headquartered.
Through the Apax Digital practice, the Apax Funds are one of the most active and experienced investors in digital companies, combining extensive digital investment expertise across three continents with deep operational value-add. Recent Apax Digital investments include Dealer.com, Bankrate, Trader Corporation (autotrader.ca), Soufun, Trader Media Group (autotrader.co.uk), and King.com.
The Apax Funds were advised by Credit Suisse as exclusive financial advisor and left lead arranger and administrative agent for the transaction's acquisition financing, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as legal counsel, and PricewaterhouseCoopers as financial and tax advisor. Answers was advised by Guggenheim Securities, LLC as exclusive financial advisor and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as legal counsel.
About Apax Partners
Apax Partners is one of the world's leading private equity investment groups. It operates globally and has more than 30 years of investing experience. Apax Partners has advised funds that total over $40 billion around the world in aggregate. Funds advised by Apax invest in companies across four global sectors of Consumer, Healthcare, Services and Tech & Telco. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies. For further information about Apax, please visit www.apax.com.
About Answers Corporation
Answers' mission is to empower consumers, brands and organizations by connecting them with the information they need to make better-informed decisions. The Answers Platform leverages the sizable reach of the top-20 comScore site Answers.com, along with its leading cloud-based solutions from ForeSee, Webcollage and ResellerRatings, to enable businesses and organizations to engage with customers at every interaction point, drive investment decisions from customer insights and deliver content that powers the customer experience. This platform helps businesses measure and improve the multichannel customer experience, resulting in better business results. Answers is headquartered in St. Louis with offices in Ann Arbor, New York City, Silicon Valley, Cleveland, London, Vancouver and Tel Aviv. For Answers, visit http://www.answers.com.
About Summit Partners
Founded in 1984, Summit Partners is a growth equity firm that has raised more than $16 billion in capital. Summit has invested in more than 400 companies in technology, healthcare and other growth sectors. These companies have completed more than 135 public offerings, and more than 150 have been acquired through strategic mergers and sales. Notable software and Internet companies financed by Summit include AVAST Software, Infor, Ogone, Rocket Fuel, Uber, vente-privee.com and Wildfire Interactive. Summit maintains offices in North America and Europe and invests in companies around the world. For more information, visit www.summitpartners.com.
About TA Associates
TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced global growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in more than 440 companies around the world and has raised $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.
For Apax Partners:
US and LatAm Media Enquiries
UK and Europe Media Enquiries
Andrew Honnor/Georgiana Brunner/Matthieu Roussellier
+44 20 7952 2000
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For TA Associates:
SOURCE Answers Corporation