mergers & acquisitions

CPA Global considers £2bn sale

IP management and software company CPA Global could be put on the market for as much £2 billion ($2.5 billion).

Private equity firm Cinven, the owner of CPA Global, has invited banks to pitch for the work, according to sources speaking to The Sunday Times.

Established in 1969 in Jersey, CPA Global began as a provider of patent renewal services. It started offering trademark services in the 1980s and providing IP software in 2000.

Cinven acquired the company in 2012 for £950 million, according to the Financial Times.

CPA Global now has 25 offices across four continents and 12 countries, and an agent network of 1,300 across 200 jurisdictions.

Sister site LSIPR reported in March that CPA Global had agreed to pay $5.6 million as part of a settlement agreement in a class action lawsuit.  

In July last year, Run Them Sweet, a US medical diagnostic company, filed the class action lawsuit alleging it was overcharged for foreign patent renewal fees by CPA Global.

According to the proposed final judgment, the settlement will only benefit US patent owners with fewer than 40 non-US patents renewed in any one year between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016.

Peter Rouse, director of Patent Annuity Costs, said that liabilities may affect the profitability of the business and therefore the £2 billion valuation.

“If there’s any merit in these overcharging claims, and others choose to pursue similar claims, it could have a very significant impact on the valuation of CPA Global,” he explained.

Back in October last year, Thomson Reuters completed the sale of its IP and science business to Canada-based Onex Corporation and Baring Private Equity Asia, based in Hong Kong.

The business, which included trademark research and protection company CompuMark and online brand protection company MarkMonitor, was sold for nearly $3.6 billion and renamed Clarivate Analytics.

This article was previously published in World Intellectual Property Review and is reproduced with kind permission.

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