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Apax Funds to acquire Zellis Group from Bain Capital

Apax Funds to acquire Zellis Group from Bain Capital

Apax Partners LLP announced that they have reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Zellis Group from Bain Capital.

Zellis Group is one of the leading providers of payroll and HR software solutions to customers in the UK and Ireland, and an emerging leader in the global benefits administration software market.

Since acquiring the business in 2017 Bain Capital, a leading global investment firm, established a new and highly experienced leadership team to strengthen capabilities across all divisions, focussing on software innovation and customer excellence. Since then, Zellis Group has strengthened its core cloud-based HR and payroll offerings, added a benefits administration software platform through the 2018 acquisition of Benefex, and accelerated growth. 

Zellis Group’s software and technology solutions are critical in helping businesses navigate regulatory complexity and workforce uncertainty. Operating in a structurally growing market, it has strong core business fundamentals with a high degree of recurring revenue and customer retention.

The Company’s Zellis and Moorepay businesses are market-leading HR and payroll technology partners to businesses across the UK and Ireland. The company serves approximately one third of the FTSE 100, with its payroll software used to pay or reward c.5 million individuals each month.

The Company’s Benefex business helps over 900 companies across more than 90 countries transform and align the experiences of more than two million employees globally though their modern benefits, wellbeing, rewards and recognition, and communications platform. 

Zellis Group is headquartered in Bristol, with operations in the UK, Ireland, India and the Philippines.   

John Petter, CEO of Zellis Group, said: “We are proud of the market leading position that Zellis Group has built over recent years, a testament to the work and innovation of our team, with the strong support of Bain Capital. Today’s announcement reaffirms that position and will allow us to increase our investments and expansion in the areas that are most important to our customers. We’re excited to partner with Apax as we begin a new chapter to fulfil our mission to help our customers offer exceptional employee experiences to their people.”

Christophe Jacobs van Merlen, a Partner at Bain Capital said: “It has been a pleasure working with John to build the remarkable team that has transformed Zellis into a leading payroll and benefits firm.” James Stevens, a Managing Director at Bain Capital said: “We are thrilled to have seen Zellis deliver ~20 percent annual organic growth over the past three years and look forward to seeing continued success.”

Roy Mackenzie, Partner at Apax, commented: “Zellis is a recognised leader in the payroll and HR software market, a sector that we know well from previous Apax Fund investments, including Paycor. We have been closely tracking Zellis for some time, and we believe that the investments in technology and go-to-market infrastructure that the Zellis team have made have positioned the Company for long-term success. We are thrilled to support Zellis in its next phase of growth.”

Adam Garson, Principal at Apax, concluded: “We have been impressed with the business that John and his team have built over the last several years. Zellis has a strong set of products and long-standing customer relationships that underscore its attractive market position across its business units. We look forward to partnering with John and the rest of the Zellis management team to help accelerate growth through both organic investments and M&A going forward.”

Zellis and Bain Capital were advised by Evercore and Morgan Stanley (financial advisors) and Ropes & Gray (legal advisor). Apax was advised by Kirkland & Ellis, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Arma Partners, and Citigroup. 

Zellis Group is the UK and Ireland’s leading provider of pay, reward, analytics and people experiences. With over 50 years of heritage and industry experience, our purpose is to Power exceptional employee experiences so you and your people do better.

Zellis Group is made up of three businesses: Zellis, which provides award-winning payroll and HR software and services to employers of over 1000 people, Moorepay, which offers payroll and HR software and services to thousands of small and medium employers, from 50 to 1000 people, and Benefex, a specialist provider of employee benefits solutions.  

Bain Capital Private Equity has partnered closely with management teams to provide the strategic resources that build great companies and help them thrive since its founding in 1984.

Bain Capital's global team of more than 280 investment professionals creates value for its portfolio companies through its global platform and depth of expertise in key vertical industries including healthcare, consumer/retail, financial and business services, industrials, and technology, media and telecommunications. Bain Capital has 23 offices on four continents.

Since its inception, the firm has made primary or add-on investments in more than 1,150 companies. In addition to private equity, Bain Capital invests across multiple asset classes, including credit, public equity, venture capital and real estate, managing approximately $185 billion in total assets and leveraging the firm's shared platform to capture opportunities in strategic areas of focus. For more information, please visit:  

Apax Partners LLP  is a leading global private equity advisory firm. For over 50 years, Apax has worked to inspire growth and ideas that transform businesses. The firm has raised and advised funds with aggregate commitments of more than $77 billion.

The Apax Funds invest in companies across four global sectors of Internet/Consumer, Tech, Services, and Healthcare. These funds provide long-term equity financing to build and strengthen world-class companies.

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