Soros-Backed ClickSoftware Soars on Francisco Partners Takeover

ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd., which develops computer programs used to manage workforces, soared to the highest since April 2012 after agreeing to be acquired by private equity firm Francisco Partners Management L.P.

Shares of Petach Tikva, Israel-based ClickSoftware jumped 27 percent to $12.44 at 2:30 p.m. in New York in the biggest gain since July 2003. The San Francisco-based private equity firm will pay about $438 million, or $12.65 per share, for ClickSoftware in an all cash deal, the company said Thursday in a statement.

Chief Executive Officer Moshe BenBassat returned ClickSoftware to profitability last year after it posted its first annual loss in at least seven years in 2013 amid a transition to cloud-based software. BenBassat, who plans to stay on as CEO, said new technology like smart phones and watches is increasing the growth potential for his company, whose mobile applications help organize schedules, routes, and logistics for field service workers in industries like telecommunications and utilities.

“As a private company, away from the pressures of stock market fluctuations, this will enable us to develop the company to where it can get,” he said by phone Thursday. “There’s lots of potential to gain business value for companies in the service sector due to the most recent technologies, starting with mobility.”

ClickSoftware’s revenue in the first three months of 2015 is expected to be between $26 million and $27 million, below the average analyst forecast of $33.3 million, according to preliminary earnings that were included in today’s announcement. That would be the third consecutive quarter that revenue missed analysts’ estimates, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The agreement follows Oracle Corp.’s purchase last year of TOA Technologies to utilize its cloud-based software, which allows information to be stored online.

ClickSoftware, whose largest investor is George Soros’s Soros Fund Management LLC, had rallied 37 percent this year before the Thursday announcement, on speculation a deal was imminent.

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