European private equity firm EQT AB announced it would buy a majority stake in Storable in a deal that people familiar with the matter said valued the U.S. software maker at roughly $2 billion, including debt.

An announcement Wednesday confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report. Cove Hill Partners, Storable’s private equity owner, will retain a minority stake in the Austin, Texas-based  company, which makes software used by self-storage companies.

The people asked not to be identified speaking about the value of the deal since financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Storable’s technology helps storage companies run their businesses and it also operates a consumer-facing portal called SpareFoot where people can browse for the best deals on self-storage near them.

Storable’s Chief Executive Officer Chuck Gordon said in an interview that Storable’s customers include publicly traded real-estate investment trusts.

The pandemic has caused more people to move from cities, he said, which has increased some demand for self-storage.

Gordon, who co-founded SpareFoot while he was in college in 2008, said some of the new investment will go toward product and engineering.

EQT U.S. Push

The potential acquisition comes as EQT weighs an exit for one of its biggest technology bets to date, SUSE. It acquired the open-source software developer in 2018 and has been building it up via acquisitions, including buying Rancher Labs this year. Bloomberg News reported last month that EQT is speaking to advisers about a potential initial public offering of SUSE that could seek a valuation of nearly $6 billion.

Stockholm-based EQT is making a U.S. push for software deals and has invested in companies in the space in the past few years including analytics company Innovyze and cloud-based, business-software maker Acumatica. EQT’s infrastructure fund has also made large U.S. investments in telecommunications, fiber and data centers.

Arvindh Kumar, an EQT partner, was hired last year from Iconiq Capital to boost the U.S. technology effort.

“Storable is consistent with some of the software investments we’ve made in how it has a growing-end market that’s accelerating in terms of digital transformation,” Kumar said in an interview.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.


Source: Bloomberg