Data management company Acxiom Corp. has accepted an offer from ValueAct Capital and Silver Lake Partners to be taken private and acquired for $3 billion. Each Acxiom share will be worth $27.10 and both Silver Lake Partners and ValueAct Capital (Acxiom's largest shareholder) will assume $756 million in debt.
At a news conference held to discuss the acquisition, Acxiom CEO Charles Morgan said he expected Acxiom to be able to thrive as a private company; noting the benefit of not having the pressure of answering to the analyst community that public organizations regularly face. Morgan also noted that the new owners' resources would also help Acxiom grow its business. It appears those new owners are very eager to do just that.
According to news reports, ValueAct's co-founder Jeff Ubben has spent the last two years on a mission to buy Acxiom. ValueAct was once a major shareholder in OneSource and tried to take the company private before OneSource was acquired by infoUSA. So the announcement of this deal really isnt surprising. It seems it was just a matter of time before ValueAct closed this particular deal or another involving a prominent data company. (The Acxiom acquisition is expected to become official within the next few months). It will be interesting to see how ValueAct and Silver Lake's enthusiasm will translate into a better Acxiom.