Marlin Equity Partners to Acquire Austin-based Bazaarvoice for $521M

Austin—Software maker Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ: BV) is being sold to Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, in a deal valued at more than $500 million.

As part of the acquisition, Austin, TX-based Bazaarvoice, which makes software for online and social media marketing, will go back to being a private company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018 subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

“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,” said Tom Meredith, Bazaarvoice’s chairman of the board, in a prepared statement.

Under the agreement, Marlin will acquire each share of outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice in exchange for $5.50 in cash for a total value of approximately $521 million, according to a press release. That price represents an 18 percent premium over the average closing price of Bazaarvoice common stock for the 30-day period ending Nov. 24, the companies said.

Bazaarvoice is the latest in technology firms being picked up by private equity interests. Last year, New York-based Apollo Global Management bought Rackspace, a San Antonio cloud computing company that was publicly traded prior to the acquisition. Another notable tech-and-private-equity union was in 2013, when Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm based in Menlo Park, CA, took Dell private in a $24.4 billion deal.

Bazaarvoice was founded in Austin in 2005. The company sells software that enables customers to leave reviews on businesses’ websites. More recently, Bazaarvoice added features that allowed companies to analyze those reviews. According to TechCrunch, the company raised about $20 million in venture capital funding between 2006 and 2012, when it went public. It was valued at $114 million shortly after the IPO. As of Monday afternoon, Bazaarvoice’s stock price was up 65 cents to $5.45.

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