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Vista Equity buys AGDATA in third PE sale

The agri data and analytics company was sold by SFW Capital, a New York-based private equity firm; its third time to change hands in six years.

Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has bought AGDATA, a North Carolina-based agriculture data and analytics company, from SFW Capital, a  New York based specialist private equity firm. The data firm has now changed hands three times within the private equity industry; it was first acquired by Carousel Capital, a private equity firm local to AGDATA, eight years ago.

SFW would not disclose how the deal came about, but began considering a sale after receiving an incoming enquiry, according to a spokesperson from SFW who added that it later attracted significant strategic and financial interest.

Although the deal’s parties would not disclose its size, sources believe AGDATA’s investment history indicates the strength of its business. “It sounds like a data company with a large, valuable database that they can monetize,” Zack Bogue, managing partner at Data Collective Venture Capital, told Agri Investor.

Vista bought the firm for three times what SFW paid for it, according to a spokesperson who added that SFW typically invests between $15 million and $75 million in portfolio companies.

During SFW’s investment period, AGDATA developed its business with a number of initiatives including the creations of the SaaS-based AgCelerate Industry Standard Platforms business unit.

AGDATA wants to secure exposure to specialist technology expertise and has found the ideal partner in Vista, according to Richard Bettison, chief executive, AGDATA. “Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to customers to further enhance our solutions across the agriculture value chain,” he wrote in a Vista Equity Partners press release. “Our partnership with Vista provides AGDATA access to world class software and technology development expertise which will drive innovation and growth, enabling us to expand our industry leading data-driven analytics and transaction solutions,” he added.