Chicago Firm to Acquire ABC Financial Services

Private equity investment firm Thoma Bravo of Chicago announced Wednesday that it will acquire ABC Financial Services Inc. of Sherwood.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017.

ABC Financial is the largest subsidiary of JBE Inc., which ranked No. 54 on Arkansas Business' most recent list of the state's largest private companies. Founded in 1981, it reported $178.5 million in revenue in 2016. In May, JBE claimed 881 employees, 531 of them in Arkansas.

The software and payment processing company for the health and fitness industry services more than 6,700 health clubs throughout North America and Europe. One of its tools, DataTrak, allows gym owners and managers to track and manage memberships, member and employee schedules, other human resource functions and inventory control.

"Thoma Bravo's support, experience and software expertise will help us continue our current success and expand our product offerings within the fast-growing wellness industry," Paul Schaller, president and CEO of ABC Financial, said in a news release. He added that the company's owner and founder, Jim Bottin, supports the deal. Bottin is scheduled to be inducted into the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame next year.

"We look forward to working with Paul and the ABC Financial management team to build the company's innovative software, scalable billing capabilities and exceptional customer support," said Scott Crabill, managing partner at Thoma Bravo. 

Jefferies LLC and Macquarie Capital are serving as exclusive financial advisors to Thoma Bravo, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as its legal advisor.

Stephens Inc. of Little Rock is the exclusive financial advisor to ABC Financial, and its legal advisor is Rose Law Firm.

Financing for the transaction is being provided by Jefferies Finance LLC, Macquarie Capital and Antares Capital LP.