FORTUNE — HR software provider Kronos today gathered all of its global employees — many via video screens — to tell them that the company has reached more than $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time in its 36-year history. That’s an 8% increase over the same year-to-date period from 2013, while its $330 million in EBITDA was up 13% from the April 2013 figure.
The news comes two weeks after The Blackstone Group (BX) and Singapore’s GIC Investments completed their $750 million purchase of a 44% equity stake in Kronos from majority owner Hellman & Friedman — a deal that valued Kronos at approximately $4.5 billion. CEO Aron Ain says that if the company’s “non-heroic” business plan holds to form, that valuation should rise to $8.4 billion by 2018.
“The Blackstone deal valued us at around 13.8x EBITDA,which is basically the same multiple that we got when Hellman & Friedman took us private in 2007,” Ain explains. “So we think that’s a fair benchmark for us when looking at future value.”
Kronos is one of several enterprise software companies that currently is navigating the shift from a license model to a software-as-a-service model. It can be a tricky switch, particularly in terms of not wanting to alienate existing clients. Ain says the key for Kronos has been to focus on approaching licensees around the time of a new product event on the SaaS side, while continuing to provide support for the legacy products.
“We don’t want to just cut anyone off, but most of our innovation is happening for SaaS,” he says. “For longtime customers, the switch is actually a bit easier than for those who bought licenses more recently, since they don’t necessarily feel that they’ve gotten quite as much value yet. It’s a balancing act.”
As for his new equity partners, Ain says that they already are beginning to make strategic introductions — particularly in China, where Kronos currently has more than 50 employees in four offices. He adds that he received numerous emails from Kronos employees after the deal was first announced, expressing their approval.
“I think a lot of them were worried we were going to get sold to someone like Oracle (ORCL), and they’d get laid off,” he says. “Now they’re more comfortable about our direction from an ownership standpoint.”
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