Solera Acquires DealerSocket and Omnitracs, Fueling Public Offering Rumors

Westlake-based Solera Holdings Inc. announced it has acquired the two Dallas-area companies, putting Texas firmly on the road toward auto tech dominance. The deal combines three Vista Equity Partners companies into a one-stop shop—adding fuel to rumors of a public offering ahead.

Something big is coming down the road for Solera Holdings Inc. The Westlake-based company, a global leader in data intelligence and tech for vehicle lifecycle management, announced yesterday it has acquired two companies: Irving-based DealerSocket and Dallas-based Omnitracs. 

All three are portfolio companies of Austin-based investment firm Vista Equity Partners. Bloomberg reported in March that Vista was in talks with blank-check firm Apollo Strategic Growth Capital to take Solera public, with the acquisitions that were announced yesterday slated as preparation for a $15 billion deal. But Vista decided to go it alone, according to the DMN.

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Vista, founded in 2000 by billionaire Robert Smith, took Solera private in 2016 at a valuation of $6.5 billion. Vista manages more than $75 billion in assets, with a focus on enterprise software, data and tech-enabled companies. It acquired Omnitracs from Qualcomm for $800 million in 2013, and acquired DealerSocket a year later with an equity valuation of around $387 million, according to FreightWaves

With operations in 90+ countries, Solera is a global tech leader in risk management software, supporting connectivity across the vehicle value chain for more than 235,000 customers and partners.

“Solera is the driving force behind the rapid digitization of the vehicle lifecycle, delivering intelligent, data-driven, mission-critical solutions for our customers,” said Solera CEO Darko Dejanovic in a statement. “These highly strategic acquisitions will enable us to expand into adjacent verticals and capitalize on emerging trends in our industry.”

DealerSocket is a leading SaaS provider to the auto industry, with 9K+ dealerships using its platform to manage customer relationships and inventory as well as digital retailing, marketing, and analytics.

Omnitracs supplies software to nearly 15,000 trucking industry customers who travel a combined 250 million miles per week, according to the company. Its software handles routing, workflow, compliance, and vehicle safety.

“By joining Solera, Omnitracs will be able to further extend our converged solutions, both in and on the vehicle, into fleet lifecycle management services,” said Omnitracs CEO Ray Greer in the statement.

Joining forces with Solera will drive a powerful new offering to auto dealers, said DealerSocket CEO Sejal Pietrzak, completing an end-to-end suite of dealer solutions from customer acquisition to e-titling to a service and maintenance platform.

“The combination of DealerSocket with Solera allows us to offer dealerships a fully unified platform to simplify workflows,” Pietrzak said, enabling the companies to become “the digital backbone across all areas of a connected dealership, simplifying and improving the retail experience.” 

Solera says the acquisitions are expected to close during Q2 of this year, subject to definitive agreements and regulatory approvals. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP is advising Solera on the acquisition. Omnitracs is represented by Greenberg Traurig LLP on the deal, with Ropes & Gray LLP serving as legal counsel to DealerSocket.

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