EQS Group is a leading international technology provider for investor relations, corporate communications and compliance. More than 8,000 companies worldwide use its products and services to fulfil complex national and international information obligations to the global investment community.
EQS has announced the sale of its 92% stake in ARIVA for €6.9m (up to €8m on earn-out), as it no longer sits well within the group’s focus on corporate compliance and IR. Q119 9% revenue growth was a little less than expected due to the lack of IPOs and corporate announcements, but the good pace of corporate sign-ups left full year revenue guidance unchanged. The proposed disposal removes c €4m revenue, but EBITDA guidance is unchanged at €1-2m (pre the €1.8m benefit from IFRS16). Our estimates are not yet updated to reflect the disposal. As in previous years, meeting the full year expectations will rely on a strong Q4 performance. EQS’s positioning as a provider of cloud-based IR and compliance services for corporates, with growing (recurring) SaaS revenues, remains attractive.
Gartner estimates the governance, risk and compliance segment at over US$5bn, growing at a CAGR of over 13%. 2019/20 should see a further raft of regulation on issues such as whistleblowing and increasing corporate transparency, following on from the benefits from regulation such as MiFID II. These all increase corporate administrative loads and carry heavy penalties for non-compliance, providing a positive backdrop for sales.