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ServiceMax, Backed by Silver Lake and GE, to Go Public in $1.4 Billion SPAC Deal

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ServiceMax has agreed to merge with a special-purpose acquisition company in a deal that will take the maker of software for field-service technicians public, officials from the companies said.

The software company—whose current owners include private-equity firm Silver Lake,

General Electric Co.

GE -0.39%

and the venture arm of business-software giant

Salesforce.com

CRM -2.00%

—will merge with

Pathfinder Acquisition Corp.

PFDR -0.10%

in a deal that values ServiceMax at about $1.4 billion. The companies expect to unveil the transaction later Thursday.

ServiceMax has also inked a deal to buy LiquidFrameworks Inc., which provides field-service software to the oil-and-gas industry, from private-equity firm Luminate Capital Partners, for $145 million. It will finance the deal out of the roughly $335 million in cash proceeds resulting from the merger with Pathfinder.

SPACs raise money by going public as empty shells and then have a set period, usually two years, to find a business to merge with. The strategy, which can be quicker and have fewer regulatory hurdles than a traditional initial public offering, surged in popularity last year but enthusiasm has cooled of late.

Pathfinder, which debuted in April, is the product of a partnership between private-equity firm HGGC LLC and venture-capital firm Industry Ventures.

ServiceMax’s cloud-based software, which is built on top of Salesforce’s platform, helps field-service workers across a wide variety of industries maintain equipment more efficiently. Its customers include

Schneider Electric

SE,

3D Systems Corp.

and

GE

GE -0.39%

Healthcare.

Its business has gotten a boost from the coronavirus pandemic as more employers realize the importance of arming their field workers with the most modern tools, ServiceMax Chief Executive Neil Barua said in an interview.

“Companies realize that they can’t put frontline employees out to repair a paper mill or a forklift in an

Amazon

warehouse without giving them the software to do that,” said Mr. Barua, who will continue on in the CEO role. “We’re really feeling that tailwind on the back of our neck right now.”

Based in Pleasanton, Calif., the company was founded in 2007 and was formerly part of GE Digital. In late 2018, GE agreed to sell 90% of the company to Silver Lake as part of its push to shed assets unrelated to its core business. Exact terms of that transaction weren’t disclosed, but the company was valued at a discount to the $915 million GE had paid in 2016 for the whole entity, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Salesforce Ventures and Silver Lake led an additional $80 million investment in ServiceMax in February 2020. The company said at the time that it planned to use the money to deepen product development and improve the customer experience in manufacturing, medical devices, energy, heavy equipment and other industrial markets.

Silver Lake, Salesforce Ventures and GE are all retaining their full stakes in the company.

Write to Miriam Gottfried at Miriam.Gottfried@wsj.com

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