TORONTO, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - BEST Funds, BMO Capital Corporation, Celtic House Venture Partners, Covington Capital Corporation, Edgestone Venture Fund and Mosaic Venture Partners are pleased to announce the acquisition of Protus IP Solutions, Inc. ("Protus"/ the "Company") by j2 Global Communications, Inc. [NASDAQGS:JCOM], ("j2").
The CDN$213 million acquisition (subject to post-closing adjustments) will enhance j2's existing product offerings and further establish j2 as a global leader in the outsourced communications services field.
Established in 1997, Ottawa based Protus provides Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") communications services and solutions to the business market. The Company's product offerings include MyFax® (internet fax), Campaigner™ (e-mail marketing) and My1Voice™ (virtual phone service).
Protus is an excellent example of a successful Ontario-based venture-backed success story and underscores the importance of venture capital to Canadian enterprises. Protus first raised venture capital investment from Ontario-based institutions in 1999 and the Company has grown to one of the leading SaaS providers in North America. All institutional shareholders are exiting via the transaction.
Protus® provides the highest quality software as a service (SaaS) communications tools for small-to-medium-businesses (SMB) and enterprise organizations, including award-winning MyFax, the fastest growing Internet fax service; my1voice, the cost-effective, feature-rich virtual business phone service that travels with the user from phone to web; and Campaigner, a software-as-a-service email marketing solution with advanced automation features. Protus' commitment to delivering a superior user experience has resulted in a continually growing and loyal customer base of more than 500,000 subscribers, allowing market leadership in industries including finance, insurance, real estate, healthcare, transportation and government. For more information about Protus and its family of communication tools, call 888-733-7007 or visit www.protus.com.
About BEST Funds
BEST, established in 1996, is experienced in raising, investing and managing venture capital and making investments in emerging sectors. The BEST Funds group currently manages the following retail venture funds: The Business, Engineering, Science & Technology Discoveries Fund Inc. and B.E.S.T. Total Return Fund Inc., as well as a number of private funds. Please visit our website at www.bestfunds.ca
About BMO Capital Corporation
BMO Capital Corporation (BMOCC) is a market-leading provider of junior capital, including mezzanine debt and equity, to mid-market companies across Canada. With $400 million in committed capital and with offices in four Canadian cities, BMOCC invests up to $20 million in companies with defensible industry positions and stable and predictable cash flows. Proceeds are typically used for acquisitions, buyouts, capital expenditures/expansions, restructurings and working capital for growth. Since inception in 1996, BMOCC has successfully executed over 170 investments. At present, BMOCC is actively invested in over 40 portfolio companies across a variety of industries. BMOCC is a member of BMO Financial Group, one of the largest financial services providers in North America, with over $390 billion in assets.
About Celtic House Venture Partners
For over 15 years, Celtic House Venture Partners has been Canada's most active investor in private information and communications technology companies. Applying the deep domain expertise of its partners and capitalizing on a unique architectural approach to investing, Celtic House has consistently provided superior financial returns to its investors. With $315 million under management, Celtic House has collaborated with management teams and repeat entrepreneurs to develop platform technology companies from the inception phase through to exit, generating over 20 initial public offerings and successful acquisitions. For more information, visit www.celtic-house.com.
About Covington Capital Corporation
Founded in 1995, Covington Capital Corporation (www.covingtonfunds.com) is one of Canada's largest and most experienced venture capital fund providers. Managing approximately $200 million in venture capital assets on behalf of institutional and retail investors, Covington invests in small-and-medium businesses throughout many industry sectors. Covington Capital Corporation is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
About EdgeStone Capital Partners
EdgeStone Capital Partners (www.edgestone.com) is one of Canada's leading private equity firms with in excess of $2.5 billion of funds committed to date from institutional and high-net-worth clients. EdgeStone provides capital, strategic direction and business and financial advice to help promising mid-market and early-stage companies achieve their full potential. EdgeStone leverages the resources of its broad business network and ensures an alignment of interests to achieve superior returns for all stakeholders.
About Mosaic Venture Partners
Founded in 1997, Mosaic Venture Partners (www.mosaicvp.com) invests in early-stage digital technology companies and actively assists entrepreneurs in creating tangible, long-term value. Mosaic's portfolio includes a variety of successful North American web-based businesses such as: Cyberplex, Five9, Soundbite Communications and Silanis Technologies.
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Covington Group of Funds