Wafra Exits Freedom Scientific

Wafra Exits Freedom Scientific

freedom science nf1Wafra Partners has sold Freedom Scientific, a provider of accessibility software and hardware products that are used by people with visual impairments, to Vector Capital.

TOPAZ-freeze-frameFreedom Scientific’s products include screen reading software for the blind, magnification software for those with low-vision, and other products for accessible scanning and reading, as well as Braille displays and note-takers.  Freedom’s customers include multi-national corporations, governments, educational institutions and individual end-users in more than 70 countries. Freedom Scientific also provides video magnification products to the industrial inspection market. The company is headquartered in St. Petersburg, FL (www.freedomscientific.com).

Freedom Scientific has a long private equity history. The company was first acquired by Summit Partners in 2000 and was sold by Summit to Wafra Partners in 2007.

Eric Norfleet mf1“We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to work closely with the management of Freedom Scientific during its expansion from the world’s leading provider of blindness products to its current position, as a full-line provider of products and services for the blindness, low-vision and inspection markets,” said Eric Norfleet, a Managing Director at Wafra.  “We enjoyed working with CEO John Blake and his management team and wish them well with their new partners.”

Wafra invests up to $30 million of equity per transaction in middle market companies based in North America that have enterprise values between $20 million and $150 million. Typical investments have revenue of $20 million or more and EBITDA of $4 million or more. Sectors of interest include consumer products, consumer-driven services, outsourced business services and niche manufacturing. The firm is based in New York (www.wafrapartners.com).

“Working with Wafra Partners has been a great experience. They provided management with the financial and strategic support necessary to help us achieve our goals,” said Mr. Blake. “We are now in a position to further accelerate growth with the help and resources of our new partners.”

© 2015 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-17-15

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