ION acquires treasury management tech vendor Openlink
Openlink Financial, a provider of trading and risk management tech for the energy, commodities and financial services industries, has been acquired by ION Investment Group.
The seller is Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm that has owned Openlink since 2011 (it purchased the tech firm from another PE company, The Carlyle Group).
ION, via its ION Trading technology subsidiary, already owns most of the key treasury management software (TMS) providers, including Wall Street Systems, IT2 and Financial Software Systems (FSS). The two exceptions at present on the international scene are Calypso and Murex.
Although Andrea Pignataro, ION’s CEO, describes Openlink’s solutions and expertise as “highly complementary to ION’s business”, Openlink directly competes with Wall Street Systems in the financial services/banking space. Most recently, both companies bid for a project at the European Central Bank (ECB). When Openlink emerged as the winner, Wall Street Systems – the incumbent tech provider to ECB – took the bank to court.
“Openlink is in a great position to capitalise on its track record, strong customer relationships and the substantial investments made in its product portfolio,” says Ben Farkas, partner at Hellman & Friedman.
UBS Investment Bank acted as exclusive financial advisor to ION and provided committed financing in support of the transaction.
Centerview Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to Openlink.
Linklaters served as legal counsel to ION, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett served as legal counsel to Hellman & Friedman and Openlink.