Cision Ltd., a leading global provider of software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Platinum Equity in an all cash transaction valued at approximately $2.74 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the members of Cision Ltd.’s board of directors, an affiliate of Platinum Equity will acquire all of the outstanding ordinary shares of Cision Ltd. for $10.00 per share in cash. The purchase price represents a 34% premium over Cision Ltd.’s 60-day volume-weighted average price ended on October 21, 2019.
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A special meeting of Cision Ltd.’s shareholders will be held as soon as practicable following the filing of a definitive proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and subsequent mailing to its shareholders. Certain affiliates of GTCR, collectively holding approximately 34% of the outstanding shares of Cision Ltd., have entered into a voting agreement committing them to, among other things, vote in favor of adopting the acquisition agreement. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 and is subject to approval by Cision Ltd.’s shareholders, along with the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and antitrust regulatory approvals, as necessary. Upon completion of the acquisition, Cision Ltd. will become wholly owned by an affiliate of Platinum Equity.
Cision Ltd. may solicit alternative acquisition proposals from third parties during a “go-shop” period from the date of the agreement until November 12, 2019. There is no guarantee that this process will result in a superior proposal, and the agreement provides Platinum Equity with a customary right to match a superior proposal and termination fee if a superior proposal is accepted. Cision Ltd. does not intend to disclose developments with respect to the solicitation process unless and until the company determines such disclosure is appropriate.
“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,” said Kevin Akeroyd, Cision’s Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
Commenting on the transaction, Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said: “Cision has a long history of leadership providing software and services to public relations and marketing communications professionals and has developed a growing portfolio of earned media management offerings for the world’s leading brands. Platinum looks forward to nurturing Cision’s core business, supporting and anticipating the diverse needs of the company’s customers, and driving new opportunities for innovation. As a private company, Cision will be able to make strategic investments for sustainable and profitable growth, while remaining agile and focused on operational excellence. We are excited to partner with Cision’s management team as it embarks on this new chapter.”
Cision Ltd. will file its quarterly report on Form 10-Q reporting its third quarter financial results but does not intend to host a quarterly earnings call.
Financing & Advisors
Equity financing will be provided by investment funds managed, advised or sponsored by Platinum Equity. Platinum Equity has secured committed debt financing for the transaction from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Rothschild & Co is serving as lead financial advisor to Cision and its Board of Directors. Centerview Partners LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are also acting as financial advisors to Cision. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel to Cision, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is acting as M&A legal counsel and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is acting as financing legal counsel to Platinum Equity.
For further information regarding the terms and conditions contained in the definitive merger agreement, please see Cision Ltd.’s Current Report on Form 8-K, which will be filed in connection with this transaction.
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