Vocus agrees £269m sale to private equity firm battling Meltwater for Cision

PR and marketing software company Vocus is close to a $446.5m (£269m) cash sale to private equity company GTCR, which is also engaged in a battle with Meltwater to acquire Cision.

The Vocus deal has been backed unanimously by the company's board, with one director abstaining. GTCR is to pay $18 per Vocus share, which is a 48 per cent premium to the company's closing share price on 4 April, the last day before the bid became public.

On the same day it unveiled the Vocus deal GTCR raised the stakes in its battle with PR software company Meltwater for control of Swedish-listed Cision.

GTCR today raised its bid for Cision from 55.1 Swedish krone per share to 61 Swedish krone, topping Meltwater's eleventh-hour bid of 60 Swedish krone, which valued Cision at £89m. 

GTCR also extended the acceptance period for its bid from 4 April to 22 April. It claimed today it controlled or had undertakings to be sold a total of 63 per cent of Cision's shares.

The private equity company has so far been unavailable for comment and it is not clear whether it plans to combine Vocus and Cision.

Commenting on the deal, Vocus CEO Rick Rudman said: "For our employees and customers, we believe that joining forces with GTCR creates a significant opportunity to utilize each other's strengths and move even faster toward our vision of creating innovative software and making our customers successful."

"We are very pleased to announce this transaction and partner with Vocus to help maximize its growth potential," said Mark Anderson, a GTCR managing director. "Vocus has a demonstrated history of building innovative software and helping customers achieve success. We look forward to the opportunity to work with Vocus to enhance its industry leadership."

PRWeek US contributed reporting to this story.

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