GTCR takes Vocus private for $446.5M in cash

Price is a 48% premium and shares of Vocus skyrocket accordingly

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
April 7, 2014
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Honestly, not every company should be public (I'm looking at you, King!). Being private has its advantages and every so often public companies do opt to go back to a world in which they're not so transparent.  

Marketing software company Vocus, which currently lists on the Nasdaq exchange, is being taken private through an acquisition by private equity firm GTCR.

The deal, which was announced on Monday, is an all-cash transaction that is being valued at approximately $446.5 million, as GTCR will pay $18 a share, a premium of 48% above what the company's closing stock price was this past Friday.

In addition, GTCR revealed that it will also be acquiring all of the outstanding shares of Vocus’s Series A Convertible Preferred Stock for a total of an additional $77.3 million.

The announcement of the deal caused shares of Vocus to skyrocket in early trading on Monday. The stock is currently up 47.04%, or $5.73, to $17.91 a share.

The Beltsville, Maryland-based Vocus provides cloud-based marketing and public relations software, which enable companies to both acquire, and retain, their customers. The company offers consulting, training and support services, charging its clients between $300 and $2,500 a month for different packages, depending on the number of contacts, and news releases, they handle per month.

The company says it currently has more than 16,000 annual subscription customers across a wide variety of industries.

So why go back to being a private company now? I reached out to Vocus to find out but a company spokesperson told me that they are "not able to discuss the particulars of the transaction." Rather, Vocus will be filing next week with the Securities and Exchange Commission to "provide some background information on the merger, as well as additional details on the tender offer."

So, for now, the only clue we have is this statement from Rick Rudman, CEO of Vocus:

“For our shareholders, this agreement provides an opportunity to realize cash value for their shares at a significant premium to historical share prices,” he said

“For our employees and customers, we believe that joining forces with GTCR creates a significant opportunity to utilize each other’s strengths and move even faster toward our vision of creating innovative software and making our customers successful.”

Stifel is serving as financial advisor for the deal, and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal counsel to Vocus.

Founded in 1992, Vocus went public in 2005. Since then it has acquired five companies, including press release newsire service PRWeb in 2006. It most recently purchased e-mail marketing company iContact in February 2012.

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