Alantra advises Cow Hills on its cross-border sale to DL Software



Nov 2022
Sell-side advisory

Alantra, the global investment banking firm, has advised Cow Hills and NewPort Capital (“NewPort”) on the sale of Cow Hills to DL Software, a France-based vertical software provider active in various sectors (backed by TA Associates).

Headquartered in Maarn in the Netherlands, Cow Hills was founded in 2006 and has sales offices in South Africa and Norway. It has since developed into the Benelux market leader of unified commerce SaaS solutions for international online and offline retailers and is currently active in over 20 countries. In the past few years Cow Hills experienced strong growth, which provides a solid foundation to accelerate its international growth strategy together with DL Software.

There is a strong strategic rationale for the transaction, with clear benefits for both companies. Cow Hills and DL Software have complementary software solutions and will be able to leverage each other’s experience, customer base, product development capabilities, international organisation and vision. Cow Hills will operate as a stand-alone business within DL Software and perfectly fits the international expansion strategy of DL Software. Founders Kees van der Veldt (CEO) and Mark de Graaf (COO/CTO) will stay on as Cow Hills’ leadership team.

Alantra was appointed following a competitive pitch process. The deal team, encompassing both local market and global technology sector specialists, applied its industry expertise, close relationships with international strategic players and private equity, and strong process execution skills to achieve a highly successful outcome for Cow Hills and NewPort.

Lodewijk Sodderland, Managing Director Alantra Netherlands, and Oliver Parker, a managing director in the firm’s global technology sector team based in the UK, led the deal. They were supported by Alexander Laheij and Andreas Smekens in the Netherlands and Joe Bills in the UK.

Lodewijk Sodderland, Managing Director Alantra Netherlands, said, “Cow Hills has experienced impressive growth under the leadership of Kees van der Veldt and Mark de Graaf in partnership with NewPort, a private equity investor we know well. It was a pleasure to work with Cow Hills and NewPort on this transaction, which was the first investment by NewPort in 2018 and is now also their first, and very successful, exit.”

Oliver Parker, Managing Director in Alantra’s Global Technology Team, added, “It was a pleasure to work with the Cow Hills and Newport teams on this transaction. Under their stewardship, the business has developed into a leading provider of cloud native unified commerce solutions in the Benelux market. As part of DL Software, I believe the business has found a great new home in order to fulfil its potential, including through further internationalisation. The transaction demonstrates continued momentum for Alantra’s global technology team advising high growth vertical SaaS companies.”

Rob van der Laan, Managing Partner at NewPort, said, “We have known the Dutch Alantra team members for some time. Having performed a detailed RFP, we engaged Alantra for the exit of Cow Hills, a software company in our portfolio. We were impressed with the quality of their work and the integrated approach of both the local team and the international software team. They really work as a team, with team-wide, international commitments.”

Kees van der Veldt, Cow Hills CEO, said, “Alantra’s expertise and global reach were key in finding us the best partner who shared our ambitions for Cow Hills. The guidance and total commitment we received from Lodewijk, Oliver and the rest of the Alantra team throughout the process were key to achieving a great deal. All of us at Cow Hills are very excited to continue our growth story and to join forces with DL Software as we feel this is the best way to secure our long-term strategic goals.”

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