Jerry Kline, founder of Innovative Interfaces, the third largest North American library automation company in terms of revenue, sold his remaining shares in the company to private equity firms Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity, which now fully own the company.
Steve Young, senior partner of Huntsman Gay, was named chairman of the board.
Kline also resigned from Innovative’s Board of Directors. Neil Block, formerly president of Innovative, on January 22 joined Polaris Library Systems as vice president of strategic growth. Innovative no longer has a president position.
“Since February 2012 my participation has incrementally lessened: I stepped down as chairman last August, prior to this sale,” Kline said in a statement. In August 2012, Innovative named Kim Massana, previously president of Thomson Reuters Elite, as CEO.
Huntsman Gay Global and JMI first invested in the company last March, initially keeping Kline on as chairman and Block as president. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but SkyRiver Technology Solutions, a provider of library metadata, also owned by Kline, likewise received an investment on the same terms. Kline’s interest in SkyRiver was included in the recent transaction, Innovative spokesperson Gene Shimshock told LJ, and Kline has stepped down from his involvement with SkyRiver as well.
Most recently, Innovative announced plans to integrate access to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) into its Encore Synergy platform, and that its Decision Center collection management solution has been implemented at several public and academic libraries. SkyRiver recently joined the Library of Congress BIBCO Program.
“I was surprised when they made the original deal that they didn’t buy the company outright, so I think buying the remaining shares just makes sense. Private equity firms want the flexibility to execute their own strategy.” Marshall Breeding, editor of Library Technology Guides, told LJ. “It seems like a normal progression of this kind of private equity involvement.”
Shimshock told LJ that the new “has no impact” on the ongoing litigation between Innovative/SkyRiver and OCLC.
This article has been updated to include comment from an Innovative spokesperson.