There have been rumors of a sale floating around since April, but Reuters and the Financial Times have confirmed today that CPA Global will be sold to a buyout firm for $3.1 billion.

Leonard Green & Partner is the U.S. buyout firm that won the auction and agreed to buy the IP services provider – CPA Global – for 2.4 billion pounds ($3.10 billion), including debt. This figure amounts to roughly 15.5 times CPA Global’s earning before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation, which was reported to be about £155m in its latest fiscal year.

Just five years ago, Cinven bought CPA Global from Intermediate Capital Group (+ its shareholders) for approximately $1.3 billion, backed up with about $718 million of debt financing. Then, in July 2017 CPA Global’s owner hired Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan as advisers and was informed that the business could fetch up to $2.6 billion.

The figure that has come out of this deal is the latest sign that private equity groups are being forced to pay higher prices when they compete for assets against rivals, thanks to the flood of cash pouring into the sector, according to the Financial Times.

Leonard Green & Partner, CPA Global, and Cinven were not immediately available for comment, but an announcement on the transaction is expected later on Tuesday, the Financial Times said, citing people close to the negotiations. (http://on.ft.com/2wEGtO4)

CPA Global was founded in Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1969 and list themselves as the world’s leading Intellectual Property (IP) Management and Technology company. They serve over 10,000 customers and connect millions of global IP users every day and boast 23 offices, across 4 continents and 12 countries, our technology and services are underpinned by an outstanding global team of over 2000 people.