Marlin Equity Partners has acquired Austin, TX-based Bazaarvoice, a provider of consumer-generated content, advertising and personalization solutions. The deal, worth $521 million, will take the company private and see the Los Angeles, Calif.-based private equity firm acquire all outstanding common stock of Bazaarvoice for $5.50 in cash. The deal reflects an approximate 18% premium to the average closing price of Bazaarvoice common stock for the 30-calendar day period ended Nov 24, 2017, when the sale was announced.
The SaaS company, founded in 2005 by tech industry vets Brett Hurt and Brant Barton, offers software that allows businesses to add reviews to their sites. Bazaarvoice indicates that it “helps some of the world’s leading brands turn social media into social commerce by enabling customer-powered marketing.” First, consumers are able to share ratings, reviews, questions, answers and video content on brands via client websites, which are then syndicated across the Web and through the channel to reach shoppers. Customer-generated content not only benefits sales, but provides enterprises with customer intelligence for more informed and efficient decision making.
Bazaarvoice went public on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker BV in Feb 2012 at $12 per share. Prior to its $114 million IPO, the company received funding from backers including Austin Ventures, Battery Ventures and Eastern Advisors.
The software provider will maintain its corporate headquarters in Austin, TX, where it employs about 600 of its nearly 800 employees worldwide.
“We are pleased to announce this transaction which enables our stockholders to realize immediate cash value at a premium and provides Bazaarvoice with the operational flexibility it needs to continue its strategic vision,” said Gene Austin, Bazaarvoice’s CEO and President. The partnership with Marlin Equity Partners is intended to help the consumer generated content company carry out its long-term objectives of continued revenue growth and product innovation.