Priava founder Michael Scroop sells stake to CEO James Pegum

09 October 2019 3 min. read

Priava has received a financial injection from Whiteoak Asset Management, as the New South Wales-based software company embarks on its next phase of international growth. Priava was advised by M&A advisors from Grant Thornton and Baker & McKenzie. 

Founded in 1997 by Michael Scroop (initially as Parrimark Technology), Priava is a provider of venue and event management software. The firm’s software helps booking-centric businesses plan and execute events, and with optimisation of supporting processes including invitations, customer relationship management, attendee management, finance and procurement. With the arrival of cloud-based solutions and services, Priava operates as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model, allowing customers to subscribe to the services they need when they need them. 

Twenty two years after founding the company, founder Scroop, who previously gained nearly ten years of experience in information technology for hospitality and tourism after graduating from a Swiss hotel management school, has now sold his stake in the firm to James Pegum, the chief executive of Priava. Pegum joined the company in 2007 and has since played an instrumental role in helping Priava expand into new markets, mainly in the Asia Pacific region. 

Priava founder Michael Scroop sells stake to CEO James Pegum

Commenting on the handover, Pegum said: “The bedrock of the company has never been stronger, solidifying the years of work that the team at Priava has undertaken for the benefit of our customers, staff and shareholders. This investment allows us to underwrite our ambitious growth plans to continue delivery across the globe.” 

The management buyout was backed by Whiteoak Asset Management, a Sydney-based private equity firm that focuses on investments in fast growing medium-sized businesses. Other investments in its portfolio include Status Anxiety, a multi-channel leather accessories brand, and The Healthy Mummy, a weight loss and health community for mothers with young children. 

Financial investor Whiteoak is led by two former consultants of McKinsey & Company: Richard Whiteoak and Greg Garvin. “We are delighted to have brought on Whiteoak Asset Management as our partners for the next phase of our journey. This wasn’t just about attracting a financial investor, we wanted to ensure that we had an engaged and experienced board that had a track record of steering global companies to assist us along our journey,” said Pegum.

The M&A process was advised on by Grant Thornton (financial advisory) and Baker & McKenzie (legal advisory) – both have been long term advisors to the Priava. Paul Gooley, National Head of Corporate Finance at Grant Thornton elaborated: “We have been working with Priava for the last nine years, supporting their ambitions both here in Australia and overseas. We’re pleased to have assisted in this milestone, which places the company in an excellent position to continue its global expansion.”

Priava has around thirty employees working from offices in Sydney, Christchurch, New York and London.