PR and marketing software company and PR Newswire owner Cision has reached a deal to be bought by private-equity firm Platinum Equity for approximately $2.74 billion in cash, or $10.00 per share.
The purchase price represents a 34% premium over its 60-day volume-weighted average price at the end of trading on October 21, 2019.
Affiliates of GTCR, which holds approximately 34% of the outstanding shares of Cision, have entered into a voting agreement that commits them to supporting the acquisition.
“This transaction will provide shareholders with immediate and substantial cash value, while also providing us with a partner that shares in our commitment to customers and employees and can add strategic and operational value,” Cision chief executive officer Kevin Akeroyd said in a statement.
“Based on our extensive engagement with Platinum over the past several months, we are confident that Platinum’s support will enable Cision to execute on its strategy and next phase of growth.”
There will be a “go-shop” period when it will consider other offers from the date of the agreement until November 12, 2019. Cision said it does not intend to disclose developments in the solicitation process unless it deems such disclosures appropriate.
Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said as a private company Cision would be able to make strategic investments while remaining agile and focused on operations.
Platinum Equity has secured debt financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, while equity will come from investment funds it manages, advises, or sponsors. Cision’s lead financial advisor is Rothschild & Co. Its other advisors include Centerview Partners and Deutsche Bank Securities.
Shares of Cision were up 19% in midday trading on Tuesday on the news. The company’s shares have fallen 28% in 2019, compared with a 20% for the S&P 500 SPX.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.