On October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Balicki Czekanski Gryglewski Lewczuk had advised Symfonia on its acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel at Symfonia, to learn more about the matter.
CEEIHM: To start, tell us a few words about Symfonia and its history.
Wioletta: Symfonia is a leading polish ERP software provider for SME sector. We offer desktop and cloud solutions that support and automate finance and accounting, payroll and soft-HR processes, sales (including e-commerce), production and warehouse management, e-documents workflow, and BI, along with a full variety of professional services. We have nearly 200 partners countrywide to support our customers in having the best experience in using our software and making the most out of it. Every day over 50,000 customers use Symfonia or subsidiaries applications to run their business.
Symfonia’s history dates back to the mid-‘90s’ when the initial version of finance software had its release. It was one of the first solutions of its kind in Poland and quickly became one of the most frequently selected by small and medium-sized companies starting their digitalization.
Until February 28, 2021, Symfonia was part of the Sage Group, one of the world's largest producers of business software for companies in the SME sector. As of March 1, 2021, the company is owned by Mid Europa Partners, a leading financial investor in Central and South-Eastern Europe.
CEEIHM: What was the rationale behind the acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to?
Wioletta: The acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to was the next step, after acquiring Reset2.pl, in Symfonia’s long-term strategy of expanding its product portfolio and market share. Cloud Planet has a very strong presence among owners of micro-enterprises – we see huge potential in this segment. We want our customers to grow with us. From a small business, they just kicked off to a moment when they hire 100+ people and need comprehensive software. We want them to have Symfonia’s products as their faithful companion on their way to success.
Besides that, Cloud Planet developed high-quality cloud solutions, including szybkafaktura.pl – an online invoicing and accounting software for SME clients in a SaaS model. Cloud Planet platform serves thousands of customers in banking on daily basis. Our aim is to extend Symfonia’s offerings taking advantage of that technology.
CEEIHM: What are the plans going forward, now that the deal is finalized?
Wioletta: We are now focusing strongly on integrating our products’ portfolio and seeing what best value we can give to our customers under the new brand “Symfonia’s Cloud." The cloud is the future – everybody speaks about that, everybody realizes that. Symfonia’s next steps will only show that we are committed to building a leading position as a cloud solutions provider.
On top of that, we still have a huge appetite to grow inorganically and have full support from Mid Europa Partners. Just now we are running a few due diligence processes on companies (both local and in the CEE region) that we believe might bring significant value to our customers’ businesses.
CEEIHM: How was the legal work split between your in-house legal team and that of BCGL’s?
Wioletta: BCGL supported us from the very beginning of all three acquisitions. They conducted the legal due diligence and drafted the paperwork. That allowed my team to go through the acquisitions without harm to our day-to-day job as our main focus, as in-house lawyers, is to help and advise our colleagues in the Symfonia Group to run the core business in a smart and most customer-friendly way. We are running multiple projects at the same time, having reliable external support is crucial.
Jointly we negotiated the deal and sat with the owners of the acquired business and their advisors. Also, with advice from BCGL, I was able to build a plan for Symfonia on how to integrate all organizations on various levels, including from a purely legal perspective, but not only. There are so many different colors for each merger. My aim is to lead Symfonia through all these projects while procuring its best interests and impeccable reputation as a leading cloud solution provider on the market.
CEEIHM: And why did you choose BCGL as your legal advisor on this deal?
Wioletta: Despite my extensive experience in international law firms and corporate legal departments, I wanted to have the best advisors in the industry on my side. We decided to rely on Jacek Balicki and his BCGL team. He has an excellent reputation and is known for his business-oriented approach – something we appreciate tremendously. Also, Mid Europa Partners had a history of cooperation with Jacek and trusted him with several other deals they closed. Going forward, we plan to work with BCGL on further M&A activities.