Data management firm Acxiom has agreed to be purchased by private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and ValueAct Capital Partners for $2.25 billion. ValueAct and Silver Lake will pay $27.10 per share, a 14% premium to the shares' Wednesday close, and will take on approximately $750 million in debt. ValueAct is Acxiom's largest shareholder, with a 14% stake. ValueAct and Acxiom waged a proxy fight last summer that concluded with ValueAct's managing partner, Jeffrey Ubben, taking a seat on Acxiom's board. Acxiom has the right to consider other bids for the next two months. Acxiom creates databases about American consumers that are used by clients to suit their marketing to particular constituencies. Its purchase is one of a series of tech company buyouts by private equity, which also includes KKR's purchase of First Data. In related news, Acxiom posted a 73% drop in fiscal Q4 net income to $6.27 million ($0.08/share) from $23.1 million ($0.26) in the year-ago quarter. Excluding one-time charges, EPS were $0.20. Q4 revenue grew 3.8% to $357.3 million from $344.3 million. The company has also named Chris Wolf as CFO, succeeding Frank Cotroneo, who resigned three months ago.
Sources: Bloomberg, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Digital50
Commentary: KKR To Buy First Data For $29 Billion; Shares Jump 25% • Affiliated Computer Services Receives Buyout Offer from Founder, Cerebus
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Acxiom Corp. (NASDAQ:ACXM). Competitors: Dun & Bradstreet Corp. (NYSE:DNB), Harte-Hanks Inc. (NYSE:HHS). ETFs: PowerShares Dynamic Technology (NASDAQ:PTF), Morgan Stanley Technology ETF (MTK)
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