Ellie Mae is a leading provider of loan origination software to US residential mortgage lenders. When TDM first invested, Ellie Mae had a market capitalisation of approximately $600m and revenue of approximately $130m. By FY2018, the business has revenue of over $480m, and was purchased in March 2019 by Thoma Bravo, a leading private equity company for US$3.7b.
At the time of TDM’s investment, Ellie Mae was out of fashion with investors as approximately 30% of its revenue base was linked to residential mortgage volumes, which were under significant pressure . This had created a short-term growth headwind.
We saw a great leadership team that had a significant personal investment and a long term perspective on growing the business.
Like most of our investments, the deeper we dived on the business, the more we realised how misunderstood the business was by the market. Ellie Mae have developed a unique culture, a dominant market position and had a large growth runway over the long term.
TDM initially invested in May 2013 as a supportive long-term shareholder with an ownership of up to 4% of the company.
Over the years, TDM has had frequent and open communication with Ellie’s management team with regards to issues such as capital management strategy (specifically in relation to their share repurchase program), as well as advice on their investor relations approach.
Ellie Mae was acquired by Thoma Bravo in March 2019 for $US3.7b, which represented a 47% premium to the 30-day average closing share price. This represented a 6x growth in market capitalisation since TDM first invested in 2013. Just 15 months after this, Ellie Mae was sold to to Intercontinental Exchange for US$11b.
‘’We have had regular interactions with TDM since our first meeting and continue to be impressed by their due diligence process and constructive feedback.’’