Private equity group to acquire Vocus, take company private

Private equity firm GTCR Valor Merger Sub has agreed to acquire cloud-based marketing and PR software company Vocus in an all-cash transaction for about $446.5 million.

CHICAGO: Private equity firm GTCR Valor Merger Sub has agreed to acquire cloud-based marketing and PR software company Vocus in an all-cash transaction for about $446.5 million.

GTCR will offer to buy all of the outstanding shares of Vocus' common stock for $18 apiece, a premium of 48% over Vocus' closing price on Friday. The company will also purchase Vocus’ Series A Convertible preferred stock for $77.3 million.

"For our shareholders, this agreement provides an opportunity to realize cash value for their shares at a significant premium to historical share prices," said Vocus CEO Rick Rudman, in a statement. "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."

Vocus declined to comment further. A representative from GTCR was not immediately available to comment.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the second quarter. Vocus will become a private company at its completion.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Vocus posted revenue of $47.7 million, up 0.7% from a year prior, beating expectations in part due to better-than-expected billings in the period.

Through its Blue Canyon Holdings unit, GTCR has also been trying to acquire Stockholm-headquartered Cision since February. Although the firm offered a cash premium of more than 50% for Cision, San Francisco-based Meltwater attempted to gatecrash GTCR’s bid last week, making a counteroffer of approximately $137 million. Meltwater has already bought 15.3% of Cision since Blue Canyon’s bid was recommended.

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