Shareholders for Austin-based software maker Bazaarvoice voted Monday to approve the company's sale to Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm.
The deal received overwhelming support, with more than 54 million votes in favor and about 640,000 against, according to a Monday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bazaarvoice officials say they have already received regulatory approval to complete the deal, according to securities filings. No formal closing date has yet been announced.
Bazaarvoice, which makes software for online and social media marketing, will become a privately held company upon the completion of the deal.
Bazaarvoice's board agreed in November to be acquired by Marlin Equity Partners in a deal valued at more than $500 million. Under the agreement, Marlin Equity Partners acquired all outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice for $5.50 in cash for a total of $521 million.
When the deal was announced, Bazaarvoice said it planned to keep its corporate headquarters in Austin.
Founded in 2005 by tech industry veterans Brett Hurt and Brant Barton, Bazaarvoice initially focused on selling software that lets businesses add reviews to their websites.
In recent years, the company 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. Before its IPO, Bazaarvoice was backed by investors including Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and Eastern Advisors.
When the Marlin acquisition was announced, Bazaarvoice CEO Gene Austin said it “provides Bazaarvoice with the operational flexibility it needs to continue its strategic vision.”
The company is facing two lawsuits filed that contend the sale to Marline undervalues the company and hurts its shareholders. Both lawsuits were filed in December by shareholder Michael Schlaffer, one filed in state district court in Travis County and the other in federal court.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bazaarvoice said it believes the claims in the lawsuit "are without merit and intends to vigorously defend both actions."
Bazaarvoice has about 600 employees at its global headquarters in North Austin. The company has a total of 790 employees worldwide.
It’s not yet known what the sale will mean to the company’s executive team or its workforce. One change is already planned: According to a securities filing, Bazaarvoice chief financial officer James Offerdahl will step down from his position upon closing of the deal.
The deal is the second publicly held software maker to be acquired by a bigger player. In May, RetailMeNot, one of Austin’s most high-profile software companies, was purchased by Harland Clarke for about $630 million.
But Austin also added a publicly traded software firm. In November, SailPoint Technologies, which sells cybersecurity software, raised $240 million in its initial public offering.
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