Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) is set to sell its stake in Nintex, a software group that sells Microsoft products, in a deal worth as much as $300 million.
According to the Australian Financial Review, the investment bank is selling its stake to private equity firm TA Associates. Nintex develops products that take advantage of Microsoft technologies, such as Nintex Workflow, which allows businesses to create leave or expense forms, extending Microsoft’s SharePoint technology.
The sale is particularly timely, given Macquarie’s financial year ends at the end of this month, with the company’s boss Nicholas Moore forecasting a 10% rise in net profit over the previous year. Should the company manage that, it will be the first profit increase in three years, potentially signalling the start of a return to rising profits and high returns on equity.
Macquarie has also been linked to Mark Bouris’ financial services company Yellow Brick Road (ASX: YBR). In November last year, Yellow Brick Road announced that it would utilise Macquarie’s balance sheet to offer aggressively priced home mortgages, in an effort to take market share from the big four banks.
20 years ago, Macquarie inked a similar deal with Aussie Home Loans – which has recently been taken over by the Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA).
Like the Australian Stock Exchange operator ASX Limited (ASX: ASX) and share registry company Computershare (ASX: CPU), Macquarie relies to a large extent on market activity for revenues. Since the GFC activity has been low, with few large IPOs, lower levels of mergers and acquisitions, and markets, up until last year, were tracking sideways more often than not.
Since June 2012, the S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has shot up over 20%, providing those companies dependent on market activity with hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Macquarie has its fingers in many pies – like the Nintex deal announced today, the company will be hoping more of its investments work out as well.
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