The Work

August 22, 2011 5:20 PM

Ropes Leads on Bain's $1.3 Billion Australian Software Purchase

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Boston-based private equity firm Bain Capital agreed to pay $1.3 billion for a majority stake in MYOB Ltd., Australia's top developer of business software, from an ownership consortium led by Archer Capital that includes HarbourVest Partners.

Financial terms of the deal, announced Sunday, weren't disclosed. Bain will pay a price more than 11 times MYOB's operating profit as it beat out rival bidders, according to Reuters.

Bain was represented by a team from Ropes & Gray led by private equity partner Brian Schwarzwalder and finance partner Michael Nicklin, both in Hong Kong, and assisted by private equity partner Alison Bomberg, also in Hong Kong, finance partner Andrew Bishop, in London, and tax partners Elaine Murphy and David Saltzman, in Boston.

Bain's chief legal officer is Sean Doherty, a former Ropes & Gray associate who joined Bain in 2005. Ropes & Gray has worked for the private equity firm in the past, advising on the $1.8 billion buyout of The Gymboree Corporation, in 2010, and on the 2006 Bain-led acquisition of Dunkin' Donuts for $2.4 billion. (Ropes recently advised Dunkin' on its $460 million IPO.)

Partners Niro Ananda and Philip Kapp of the Australian firm Clayton Utz are serving as Australian counsel to Bain, sibling publication The Asian Lawyer reported.

Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson is advising Archer Capital on the transaction, according to The Asian Lawyer, led by partner Tom Story. In June the firm advised Archer Capital on its $240 million acquisition of private hospital business, Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd.

MYOB, which stands for Mind Your Own Business, provides accounting, client-management, and Web site software and services to small and midsize businesses.  The Archer Capital–led group bought MYOB for about $469 million in 2008.

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