GIC in $944 million joint deal to buy software firm

GIC in $944 million joint deal to buy software firm

SINGAPORE - Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and a New York-based private equity firm will acquire US plagiarism detection software maker iParadigms for US$752 million (S$944 million), the firms said yesterday.

A GIC spokesman declined to disclose GIC's stake in the venture or its investment amount. It is the fund's third US deal this year, after its investment in human resource software firm Kronos Inc and Time Warner Centre in New York.

In a joint statement, GIC and Insight Venture Partners said the deal will likely close this third quarter. Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has been a majority owner in iParadigms since 2008.

Founded by student researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, iParadigms makes cloud-based technologies that prevent plagiarism and evaluate student learning. Its flagship product, Turnitin, is used by more than 24 million students and 1.6 million educators at 10,000 institutions worldwide to review works for plagiarism and accurate citations. The company will continue to target emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and Africa next year.

"As a global investor, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to partner with Insight to help iParadigms further expand its international footprint," said Mr Eric Wilmes, head of the North America direct investments group at GIC Special Investments.

"iParadigms operates a business that solves some of the most persistent and universal challenges in education," said Insight managing director Deven Parekh.

In February, GIC tied up with the Blackstone Group to take minority stakes in Kronos, in a deal that values it at about US$4.5 billion, including debt. GIC and Blackstone planned to invest US$750 million in total for more than 40 per cent of Kronos.

In January, GIC partnered the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and a US property developer to buy 1.1 million sq ft of space in Time Warner Centre for US$1.3 billion.

This article was first published on June 4, 2014.
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