RealPage didn’t wait long to make a splash on Wall Street. In conjunction with the firm’s third-quarter (and innagural) earnings call earlier this week, the Carrollton, Texas-based multifamily software and services provider announced that it has acquired Greer, S.C.-based multifamily call-center firm Level One. The $54 million cash deal is the first since RealPage completed a 14 million share IPO this summer at a market cap of $1.07 billion.
The $54 million cash buyout also includes the option for a deferred payment of $8 million payable in common stock or cash at RealPage's election within 18 months of closing. RealPage plans to combine Level One with its CrossFire product suite and will continue to provide leasing and maintenance services to Level One’s 4,000 apartment community clients in the United States.
To close the deal, RealPage borrowed $30 million through its existing revolving credit facility. According to a press release, RealPage expects existing management of Level One will remain with the business. Level One reported revenue of approximately $23 million for the trailing 12 months ended September 30, 2010, with profit margins that are expected to be accretive to RealPage's 2011 target operating objectives, the release said.
“We expect to market the combined service offering under the Level One brand, which will be run by Buddy Long, the president of Level One,” said RealPage chairman and CEO Steve Winn in the release. “Level One fits into our broader strategy to offer systems that originate, syndicate, captur, and manage leads more effectively than traditional Internet systems enabling owners to lease more apartments at a lower overall cost.
Level One clients were supportive of the deal. “Congratulations Level One, and congratulations RealPage,” said Donald Davidoff, group vice president of strategic systems at Englewood, Colo.-based Archstone. “The transaction is clearly a validation of the value of this kind of service and a validation of Level One as the premier vendor in this space. It makes us proud to be a customer.”
Level One CEO Todd Baldree will join RealPage as part of the acquisition and will focus on developing the firm’s “next generation” of on-demand leasing systems. "We believe new lead generation techniques coupled with on-demand centralized leasing agents available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, will fundamentally change the way apartments are leased by helping owners increase demand for vacant units and reduce overall leasing costs,” Baldree says. “We wanted to be part of this disruptive change and believe that RealPage is the only firm with the technology, scale ,and shared vision to actually deploy such advanced capabilities.”
Davidoff says Archstone is also looking forward to watching the evolution of new products and services. “I’d be shocked if this changes the M.O. at Level One at all. In fact, it ought to give them more resources to do even better,” Davidoff said. “Certainly they will continue to evolve and experiment with different channels of information and different means of interacting with prospects, particularly with Gen Y.”
According to the RealPage earnings call, Level One is expected to add $3.5 million to $4 million in 2010 revenue to the multifamily software firm. Elsewhere in RealPage’s business units, cash flow from operations was up 86 percent over 2009 third-quarter numbers, with all product families seeing revenue growth for the quarter.
“We’re very pleased with the third-quarter results, which underscore our success in acquiring new units and cross-selling to existing customers,” said Winn, who also noted cloud computing deals with Riverstone Residential; Pinnacle, an AMS Co.; and Greystar as particularly contributive to RealPage’s success.