Frequently Asked Questions
The questions and answers below provide a brief overview of who Volaris Group is, how we do business, and what types of companies we acquire. If you don't find the answer you're looking for or want to start a conversation about your company's future, please contact us.
Who is Volaris Group?
Volaris Group is a buy-and-hold acquirer of software businesses. We position our companies for long-term success by investing in our people and offer acquired companies access to a global network of like-minded peers, best practices, coaching, and capital.
What does Volaris Group do?
Volaris acquires, strengthens, and grows software companies. We currently operate over 170 companies that create custom software solutions for more than 40 industries. Visit our portfolio page for a closer look at the businesses we’ve acquired and markets we serve.
When was Volaris Group founded?
The seed of what has become Volaris Group was planted more than 25 years ago, when public transit software leader Trapeze Group became the first acquisition made by Constellation Software. By 2011, Trapeze Group had developed expertise acquiring and integrating software companies that could serve other vertical markets. As company leadership continued to look for growth, they saw a need to incorporate a new organization separate from Trapeze Group. A new name for the larger organization was born – Volaris Group.
Where is Volaris Group based?
Volaris Group is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, but Volaris-owned businesses maintain a presence in more than 50 countries. Explore our interactive map to view where our companies are located around the world.
Who owns Volaris Group?
Volaris is an operating group of Constellation Software. Founded by Mark Leonard in 1995, Constellation Software is an international provider of software and services to several public and private sector industries. With over 125,000 customers in over 100 countries and a proven track record of solid growth, Constellation has established a broad portfolio of software businesses to provide their businesses and shareholders with exceptional returns.
Is Volaris Group publicly traded?
Volaris Group’s parent company, Constellation Software, is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CSU. Constellation Software has generated significant cash flows and revenue growth since its inception in 1995. This solid financial foundation allows Constellation to provide their operating groups, like Volaris, with capital to invest in your company.
Which companies belong to Volaris Group?
Volaris owns companies in over 40 vertical markets, including Transit, Asset Management, Financial Services, and Communications & Media. Click here for a list of all the verticals we currently have a presence in.
My company doesn’t fit within an existing Volaris vertical. Are you interested in entering new vertical markets?
Yes, we are always open to looking at opportunities to make platform acquisitions in new verticals. In many cases, we have an existing presence in the geography to help scale the acquisition, even if we don’t know the industry.
How long does Volaris hold a business before selling it?
Volaris never sells its businesses. We believe in holding companies and growing them forever.
Would our company be merged into another business or remain independent?
In many cases, our acquisitions remain standalone companies with autonomy over their branding, culture, and operational decisions. The decision to keep your business independent or integrated will be agreed upon and discussed well in advance of your close date.
Does Volaris maintain existing management or bring in its own management?
We prefer to keep existing management teams in place. In fact, over 80% of our current business leaders were in place at the time of acquisition or have been internally promoted. If you would rather retire or otherwise exit the business, we will work with you to promote from within or recruit a successor.
How much autonomy will my company have post-acquisition?
Acquired businesses have performance benchmarks to meet, but how you meet them is up to you. We believe that the best decisions are made locally by leaders with intimate knowledge of their market. As a part of Volaris, you can continue running your business as a standalone company while benefitting from belonging to a larger global organization.
What types of metrics are used to measure how well a business is performing?
We benchmark all our businesses through a set of standard performance measures for sales & marketing, R&D, professional services, HR, and finance.
What will happen to my software company if it is not performing well after Volaris acquires it?
Business performance will be assessed against our standard benchmark metrics and a plan will be developed by your management team to address any shortfalls. You will also have access to a team of leaders who will provide mentoring and share with you how they have resolved similar problems.
What is Volaris Group’s acquisition criteria?
We primarily look to acquire software businesses that serve a specific vertical market. We are interested in expanding within our existing vertical markets as well as entering new markets. Larger and smaller businesses have found homes with Volaris, though we typically work with businesses that have 25+ employees.
How should I start to prepare to sell my software company?
You will need to prepare certain documents in advance of acquisition discussions. These documents may include business plans, product information, market data, and high-level industry trends, as well as information on customers and suppliers. In terms of the financial information required, we will want to see historical income statements, recent balance sheets, and financial projections for at least the next 3 years.
What kinds of advisors will I need to enlist to help me sell my software company?
Depending on the abilities of your internal resources and your level of comfort managing unfamiliar processes, you may consider hiring one or more of the following advisors:
You may choose to sell your company on your own, or you may choose to engage a business broker (sometimes referred to as an M&A broker or advisor). These specialists focus on sourcing buyers, preparing companies for sale, and running auction processes. Read this article to learn more about business brokers and how to choose one that will suit your needs.
Consider enlisting the services of a lawyer that has experience in M&A. The right legal advisor will help ensure that you understand the process, advise you on risks, advocate on your behalf, and ultimately, close the deal. They should also be able to advise you on who else you may need on your team, such as an accountant or other transaction advisors.
Accountant and Tax Specialist
An accountant will play a crucial role during the diligence process, particularly in situations where you have chosen not to engage a broker. Your accountant will act as a trusted advisor and will help you navigate the financial aspects of due diligence. Moreover, tax implications are often an overlooked area. Engaging an accountant to structure the transaction in the most tax efficient manner can create additional value for you.
What are the steps involved in the acquisition process?
Volaris follows the same general acquisition process of most acquirers:
1) Initial Contact – Seller and buyer discuss their vision for the company
2) Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) – Keeps information-sharing private, protected, and confidential
3) Indicative Offer (IO) – Non-binding offer
4) Letter of Intent (LOI) – Formal agreement of initial terms
5) Due Diligence – Comprehensive business appraisal
6) Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA) – Final contract execution
7) Finalization – Receive your proceeds and continue to operate your business or proceed with your exit plan
What is involved in the due diligence process?
The due diligence process involves both the buyer and seller looking to validate assumptions about their relationship moving forward. During the process, we will review the financial, legal, and operational aspects of your company.
So that you can compile and prioritize the documents required for review, a due diligence checklist will be provided by Volaris. It generally includes:
• Financial statements – historical, year to date, and forecasted
• Market information – market analysis, competitive landscape, and SWOT analysis
• Commercial data – pricing and revenue model, sales pipeline, product analysis, and customer analysis
• Legal – supplier agreements, customer agreements, any historic, current or potential claims, disputes, litigation, etc.
• Intellectual property – patents, trademarks, NDAs and non-compete agreements, R&D agreements, etc.
How long does the due diligence process take? Do you talk to our customers?
Typically, it takes us about 45 days to complete our due diligence. However, the timeframe can vary depending on the size and scope of your business. During this process, we may speak with some of your customers if all shareholders are comfortable with us doing so. We will not speak to your customers without your consent.
How do you value my business?
Your company’s valuation rises when your revenue streams are stable, predictable, and likely to continue in the future. As a result, we’ll look closely at your recurring revenue figures to help us determine your valuation.
How long does it take to complete an acquisition?
On average, it takes 12-15 weeks to complete a transaction. However, the timeframe may vary depending on the size and scope of your business.
What percentage of the company do you acquire?
In most cases, we buy 100% of the companies we acquire.
If I sell my software company to Volaris Group, will my company become a part of Constellation Software?
Your business will be acquired by Volaris Group as a subsidiary of Constellation Software, and as such will be considered a part of both entities.
How will selling my software company to Volaris impact my customers?
When we acquire a business, we remain loyal to it. Unlike private equity or venture capital firms, we do not flip and resell the companies we buy. By keeping businesses forever and investing in products and employees, we allow customer needs to be met over the long-term. We also invest in organic growth initiatives, which can enable you to provide additional products and services to your customers.
Will Volaris offer opportunities for career growth for my employees?
We strongly believe that a strong talent pool is necessary to build a great business. As such, we nurture a culture of learning and provide professional development opportunities for all levels of the organization.
How does Volaris help foster collaboration and idea-sharing between acquired businesses?
We regularly hold functional summits for employees in sales & marketing, customer care, professional services and finance. These summits allow individuals with the same job function to meet each other and build networks across businesses. We also host leadership development events such as Quadrants, a Volaris-wide event with over 1,200 attendees.