Kronos agrees to private buyout

The billions of dollars amassed by various buyout specialists continues to be poured into the enterprise technology industry. Hellman & Friedman is poised to acquire Kronos, a developer of workforce management software, in a $1.8 billion transaction. The terms call for $55 in cash to be paid out for each share of the company, a substantial premium on its recent trading prices. H&F was recently involved in the private equity buyout of enterprise mapping software developer Intergraph, although its interests extend to financial services, utilities, and media.

The deal is the latest indication that individual and institutional shareholders are inclined to continue cashing out to specialty investment conglomerates and companies. In addition to tremendous cash resources, the private equity buyers as a group are often able to dodge the mounting requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation which affect all issuers of public equity and debt.

Kronos earned $578 million for its 2006 fiscal year with $41 million in profit. Founded 30 years ago, the company sells attendance, staffing, and time tracking solutions to various private and public-sector clients. The deal is subject to approval by a two-thirds affirmative vote of shareholders. Kronos's board has already endorsed the acquisition.