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What the sale of Vector Solutions means for the Tampa Bay tech sector

Margie Manning

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Vector Solutions is headquartered in Tampa

A San Francisco private equity firm has a deal to buy Vector Solutions, an eLearning company in Tampa.

Golden Gate Capital signed an agreement to buy Vector from Providence Equity Partners, which has owned Vector for four years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Golden Gate Capital has $15 billion in capital under management and is one of the most active software investors in the world, said Victoria Zambito, Vector’s senior vice president for content and communications.

Vicki Zambito, senior vice president, Vector Solutions

“GGC’s acquisition of Vector Solutions is an incredible nod towards the strength of the Tampa Bay tech community and acknowledgment of our local talent and leadership position,” Zambito told the St. Pete Catalyst. “A leading private equity firm like Golden Gate Capital has many choices when it comes to investment opportunities and only invests in companies with a proven track record and a strong vision for the future.”

Vector, founded in 1999, has grown to be one of the larger technology companies headquartered in Tampa Bay. It has with 382 employees in six offices across the U.S., and had $62 million in 2017 revenue, according to Tampa Bay Business Journal research, although Zambito did not confirm the revenue number.

Vector uses Software-as-a-Service to provide online training for workers in several industries: architecture, engineering, construction, industrial, facilities management, public safety, IT and education. The company has more than 8,000 courses and reaches almost 6 million professionals worldwide.

Providence, with about $60 billion in assets under management and headquarters in Providence, R.I., acquired a majority stake in Vector in 2014. Since then, the company has entered new markets, more than doubled its size and expanded its geographic footprint, course library, customer base and product lines, Zambito said.

Jeff Gordon, CEO, Vector Soluutions

Golden Gate has significant software industry expertise and operational experience to support the next phase of growth, Jeff Gordon, CEO of Vector, said in a news release.

Gordon and the current management team will continue to lead Vector, which will remain headquartered in Tampa.

Golden Gate also has the financial resources and flexibility to find the best solutions for portfolio companies’ needs, Zambito said.

Golden Gate’s software portfolio includes Infor, whch develops business cloud software; LiveVox, with enterprise cloud contact center solutions; 20-20- Technologies, which designs software for homes, offices, manufacturers and retailers; and JDA Software, which focuses on supply chain management.

“The Golden Gate Capital team partners with its portfolio companies, working closely with their CEO and management team, to support their continued growth,” Zambito said.

The Vector and Golden Gate teams were in sync right from the initial meeting, Zambito said. “GGC really understood Vector’s vision and strategy and immediately saw the value they could bring to our next phase of growth,” she said. “The process has gone very smoothly and is expected to close later this month.”

Kirkland & Ellis served as legal advisor to Golden Gate Capital. Robert W. Baird & Co. served as financial advisor to Providence and Weil Gotshal & Manges served as legal advisor.

 

 

 

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