Earlier this week, I was contacted by Inatech to be briefed on an announcement it was making. Yesterday afternoon, I spoke with Fred Bendle, Chairman and CFO, and CEO, Jean-Hervé Jenn and was informed about its acquisition by Valsoft Corporation, for an undisclosed sum. “Glencore sold Inatech on June 1st,” Mr. Jenn told me. “Glencore’s objectives in the sale were to ensure the stability and longevity of Inatech as it moved into the next phase of its growth. It took this task very seriously as many of Inatech’s customers are Glencore counterparties,” he told me. Indeed, Mr. Bendle had retired from Glencore and taken the position of Chairman and CEO of Inatech as a part of the transaction and both Mr. Bendle and Mr. Jenn had signed 3-year contracts also as a part of the acquisition in order to assure continuity and stability.
Valsoft is a Canadian serial acquirer of software businesses of a certain size. “It has a buy and hold strategy,” I was told. Inatech is the first acquisition by Valsoft in the energy vertical and so part of Inatech management’s role will also be to seek other synergistic vendors and products to acquire and build out an energy portfolio. “We will follow Inatech’s current strategy but work to expand our footprint one way or another,” said Mr. Jenn. “Glencore was a tremendous owner, providing domain expertise and funding over the first stage of growth. Now, Inatech is ready for the next phase and one of the benefits offered by Valsoft is it’s expertise in growing successful software businesses leveraging its tried and tested suite of tools and processes.”
Inatech’s customers have provided a very positive response so far, I was told. In many ways, it will be business as usual at Inatech yet at the same time, it can look for ways to grow its footprint organically and acquisitively into areas like “biofuels and renewables, LNG and LPG, and other areas,” Mr. Jenn said. He added “ Valsoft has both the appetite to acquire synergistic businesses, and the capital to deploy: we feel very excited about the next few years.”
According to the announcement, Valsoft is acquiring 100% of outstanding shares and will be leveraging Inatech’s market positioning, product strength and expertise to build an energy software portfolio to deliver mission critical solutions to companies in the fast changing and disruptive energy market. “We are incredibly proud to enter the energy trading and risk management vertical through our acquisition of Inatech,” said Michael Assi, CEO of Aspire Software, the operating division of Valsoft. “Inatech’s talented team, company values, and established position in the market will make this a platform acquisition poised for continued future growth and continuous product innovation for years to come.”
Inatech now has around 30 customers and is currently focused in the oil and bunkering space with its cloud-based software solutionsincluding some of the most prestigious shipping companies, oil traders and wholesalers. It has recently diversified the solution portfolio to include dispatch logistics for the US market, renewables and advanced risk analytics through strategic partnerships delivering the solutions that companies need in today’s energy markets. Inatech is one of the pioneers of developing true cloud solutions for the energy market with its intuitive user experience, superior customer service and deep expertise of the physical hydrocarbon market.
We will be following Inatech’s progress post acquisition closely.