STOCKHOLM: Cyril Acquisition withdrew its offer to acquire Cision. Cyril said it did not acquire enough Cision stock by the offer's deadline.
The offer was “conditional upon Cyril Acquisition becoming owner of more than 90% of the total number of shares in Cision," Triton, Cyril's private-equity firm, said in a release. The holding company had acquired about 65%.Cyril, via Triton, had proposed 20 kronor per share (about US $3.34), which was higher than Cision stock had been trading. However, some shareholders might have thought the offer was too low.
"Most analysts over there [in Sweden] thought it was a reasonable price, [but we] couldn't get the level of support from shareholders," said Joe Bernardo, president and CEO of Cision North America. "The Cision board took a neutral position. There are tens of thousands of shareholders, so it's hard to predict how they will see it."
Triton was unbowed in a statement, standing by its offer.
“Our view is unchanged that a premium of 66% is attractive to the shareholders and that Cision would benefit from developing as a privately held company. However, it is evident that there unfortunately is no basis to continue with the offer”, said Jan Åkesson, a partner at Triton.
With the offer off the table, Bernardo says things are "business as usual" and the company will continue on the trajectory that was plotted prior to the offer."The direction in North America continues to be a good one," he said, referring specifically to the recent launch of CisionPoint, which Bernardo says has been successful. "The North American business is representing a large portion of revenue and profits."
The Nordic region and the UK have been undergoing extensive reorganizations (the global Cision organization was created after a number of acquisitions in recent years), including a cost restructure in the UK and an effort to digitize the Nordic business. However, there are plans to release a European version of CisionPoint, and the offer withdrawal announcement was accompanied by an announcement of a new "mommy blog" database. Bernardo is optimistic despite some recent shaky financial performance on a global level.
"We have a good business on our hands," said Bernardo. "[There's] strong organic growth [and the] European regions will meet their goals in due time. We weren't looking for a buyer then and we aren't looking for one now."