Cognism’s Acquisition of Kaspr
Cognism, a B2B sales acceleration software company based in London, has acquired Paris-based sales prospecting provider Kaspr. Circle Law advised the seller.
Since its founding in November 2018, Kaspr has grown to become a major player in the French market for accurate prospecting data, with over 1,500 active customers and 50,000 users. The purchase, which was completed for an undisclosed sum, will bolster Cognism’s access to the French market and expand its database. These upgrades will enable the company to offer services to individuals and earlier stage businesses.
Cognism provides businesses with premium contact, company and event information to help them connect with their ideal prospects. Its services are used by more than 1,000 revenue teams globally.
Circle Law advised Kaspr with a team led by partner Sacha Naparstek (M&A), in collaboration with partner Edmond Tahar (IP/IT/Data) and associate Vincent Xavier.
Lawyer Monthly had the pleasure to speak with Sacha Naparstek, Partner at Circle Law to give us some further insight into this transaction:
Please tell us more about your work during Kaspr’s sale to Cognism.
Circle Law acted as legal counsel of Kaspr, providing the company with global legal advice at all stages of the sale, from the signing of the letter of intent to the closing, including the due diligence process.
Our firm has been advising Kaspr since its creation, which enabled us to be involved very early in the deal. As we have a high knowledge of the company and its activities, we could efficiently answer the buyer’s requests and target the key legal points of the operation.
What specialised skills and experience did your team bring to the operation?
The transaction required a global legal support that extended beyond the sole M&A field to include IP/IT/Data expertise, given the strong technological dimension in both the seller’s and buyer’s activities. Combining those legal skills, we were perfectly positioned to understand their businesses and strategies and provide KASPR with relevant guidance.
Our firm has been advising Kaspr since its creation, which enabled us to be involved very early in the deal.
In addition, I would say that our reactivity was a strong added value we brought on the deal as the parties wished to complete the transaction in a very short period, reinforcing the need for an immediate identification of the main points of focus on the operation (legal, but also financial and commercial) to allow its completion within the required time frame.
Lastly, our ability to work internationally was an important asset as it was a cross-border transaction involving a UK buyer and a French seller.
Did you encounter any significant challenges during the merger? If so, how did you and your team overcome them?
As a cross-border operation, one of the main challenges was to navigate from one legal framework to the other. In fact, even if the seller and the buyer agree on their vision and the terms of the transaction, there can sometimes be issues related to the different legal concepts. That is why our role is to find the perfect balance so that the requirements of each party are applicable in the chosen legal jurisdiction.
How does your work during this transaction fit the profile of your firm?
This operation required strong experience in mid-cap and cross-border M&A transactions, which is one of the core activities of our firm. We are involved in mid-cap to large-cap operations involving French and foreign companies from different industries (media, real estate, medical, food, entertainment, etc.), both in financing (fundraising and LBO) and mergers and acquisitions.
In addition to being a M&A deal, this operation was also an “IT deal” considering all the legal aspects related to the sale of a tech company, and the knowledge required was perfectly in line with the skills of Circle Law. Different legal departments were involved and we were able to meet all the expectations that this type of transaction required very efficiently.
Also, our internal processes are perfectly adapted to the achievement of this type of operation, thanks to the technical and digital tools that we provide to our clients to enable them to complete the transaction within increasingly short deadlines, particularly in due diligence processes.
How will the acquisition of Kaspr enhance the capabilities of the merged company?
The acquisition delivers Cognism greater access to the French market with an additional data source to rapidly expand its own database. Kaspr’s entry level sales intelligence solution is deepening Cognism’s expertise and database as well as expanding their team with local knowledge, allowing the company to serve earlier stage businesses and individual contributors.