OMERS part of $1B deal to buy legal technology company

The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has announced a $1-billion deal involving its private equity arm to acquire a Kansas-based provider of legal technology services.

Today, OMERS announced its private equity arm and funds managed by U.S. private equity investment firm Harvest Partners LP had agreed to purchase Epiq Systems Inc. for $16.50 per share in cash. The deal represents a 42 per cent premium on Epiq’s share price of $11.63 as of Feb. 19, 2016, the last day of trading before a media report speculating about potential offers for the company.

The deal, which will make Epiq a privately held company, will result in its merger with DTI, a legal processing outsourcing business in which OMERS has a majority stake. The parties expect the transaction to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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“Epiq and DTI are both recognized as excellent service providers and market innovators,” said Eric Haley, managing director of OMERS’ private equity arm.

“This combination will produce a global firm with best-in-class solutions and significant opportunities for growth in the dynamic legal technology industry.”

The transaction requires approval of the holders of at least two-thirds of the outstanding shares of Epiq’s common stock entitled to vote on the transaction. Epiq’s board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction and recommends that shareholders vote in favour, according to a press release issued today.

Epiq has been under some shareholder pressure, according to the Kansas City Star. Amid questions about its performance and management, the company had been undergoing a strategic review of its future, the paper reported.

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