TOKYO/SINGAPORE, 31 March 2023 – Bain Capital Private Equity (“Bain Capital”), a leading global investment firm and GIC, a global institutional investor, today announced that they have signed definitive agreements to enter into joint ownership of WHI Holdings (“WHI”). Its core operating company, Works Human Intelligence, is Japan’s No 1 HR software provider, used by approximately 1,200 corporate clients. Bain Capital and GIC will be co-control shareholders. The additional capital will be used to support the company’s next phase of growth and augment WHI’s enduring customer value proposition. The transaction is the largest private equity acquisition of a software company in Japan, according to Dealogic.
WHI was established in 2019 by Bain Capital Private Equity through a spin-off of the human resource software business department from its predecessor company, Works Applications. As a standalone company, WHI has partnered with Bain Capital to enhance its go-to-market sales and cross-sell commercialization operations, successfully transitioned to develop innovative cloud-based ERP software products and invested heavily in a best-in-class customer success strategy. As a result, WHI has continued to grow at a double-digit pace as a value-added partner to help Japanese companies position their workforce for success in remote and hybrid work environments.
The new partnership of Bain Capital and GIC will support WHI’s continued advancement into cloud-based SaaS products and customer success efforts. In addition, Tomitaro Anzai and Yoshiro Ishikawa, CEO and Chairman, respectively, of WHI Holding, will also invest in the company.
Yuji Sugimoto, Partner and Co-head of Asia Private Equity at Bain Capital, said: “WHI has continued to elevate its compelling value proposition by helping workforces across Japan collaborate smarter and more effectively, and adapt seamlessly to a variety of work environments. We’re extremely proud of their growth to-date and look forward to continuing to partner with senior management and GIC to bring their innovative solutions to customers across Japan and Asia.”
Choo Yong Cheen, Chief Investment Officer for Private Equity, GIC, said: “We are pleased to invest with Bain Capital Private Equity in Works Human Intelligence, the leading player in enterprise human capital management software in Japan. We are seeing a growing trend in cloud migration in the SaaS market and are confident that leading companies such as Works Human Intelligence will continue to be well-positioned to capture this growth in the market.”
Mr. Anzai, said: “WHI has continued its growth as a leading company in HR systems with its mission of ‘Make people’s work fun by solving complex and diverse social issues through integration of human intelligence.’ We will accelerate our growth through further product developments and launches of new features by enhancing our business foundation under the new partnership with GIC in addition to Bain Capital.”
The transaction is expected to close in May-June 2023, subject to approvals by relevant regulatory authorities.