Austin software maker Bazaarvoice has agreed to be sold to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Marlin Equity Partners in a $500 million-plus deal that will take the company private.
Bazaarvoice, which makes software for online and social media marketing, will see Marlin Equity Partners acquire all outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice for $5.50 in cash for a total value of $521 million, the company said Monday.
Bazaarvoice will be a privately held company after the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, the company said.
The deal is subject to a shareholder vote and regulatory approval.
Bazaarvoice plans to keep its corporate headquarters in Austin, the company said.
Tom Meredith, chairman of the board for Bazaarvoice, said: “The board ultimately decided, after extensive engagement with stockholders and an extended and thorough process, that Marlin’s offer to acquire Bazaarvoice is the best way to maximize value for our stockholders.”
“This transaction represents a unique opportunity to invest in a leading provider of consumer generated content applications and data offerings,” Nathan Pingelton, a principal at Marlin Equity Partners, said in a written statement. “We are excited to partner with the entire Bazaarvoice team to build upon the company’s success and support their long-term objectives of continued revenue growth and product innovation.”
The company declined to provide additional comment on the deal.
Founded in 2005 by tech industry veterans Brett Hurt and Brant Barton, Bazaarvoice sells software that allows businesses to add reviews to their websites.
In the past few years, Bazaarvoice has expanded its offerings to let brands and retailers analyze reviews, ratings, videos and other content posted by customers about their products.
The company raised $114 million in an initial public offering in 2012. Prior to its IPO, the Bazaarvoice as backed by investors including Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures, and Eastern Advisors.
In 2016, the company moved to a new 137,615-square-foot global headquarters in North Austin, which is home to about 600 employees. Bazaarvoice has 790 employees worldwide.
Shares of Bazaarvoice were up 14 percent, or 65 cents, at $5.45 in mid-day trading.
Bazaarvoice is the latest of a number of publicly held software makers to be acquired by bigger companies. Two years ago, HomeAway, which operates the world's largest network of online vacation rentals, was bought by travel giant Expedia for $3.9 billion.
In May, RetailMeNot, one of Austin's most high-profile public software companies, was acquired by Harland Clarke for about $630 million.
But Austin has also added a publicly traded software maker. This month, SailPoint Technologies, which sells cybersecurity software, raised $240 million in its initial public offering.
Marlin Equity Partners has done one previous deal in Austin. In 2010, the firm, based in Los Angeles, acquired educational software maker CompassLearning for $32 million.
News on Open Source is free and unlimited. Access to the rest of 512tech.com comes with an American-Statesman digital subscription, which also includes myStatesman.com and the ePaper edition. Subscribe at statesman.com/subscribe.