Golden Gate Capital, an American private equity firm, has acquired Neustar in a transaction that values the firm at approximately $2.9 billion, including debt to be refinanced. Neustar shareholders will receive $33.50 per share in cash, a premium of 45%.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which will deliver certain and immediate value to our shareholders,” said James Cullen, Neustar’s Chairman of the Board of Directors in a statement. “We are confident that today’s announcement represents the best path forward for all of Neustar’s stakeholders.”
Neustar’s businesses include the registry operations for .us, .co, .biz and in mid-2015 they acquired Bombora Technologies, whose subsidiaries include the .au registry operator AusRegistry and ARI Registry Services who operates .melbourne, .sydney, and over 100 new gTLDs. Altogether, Neustar provides registry services for over 300 new gTLDs. Neustar also provides marketing, risk, security and communications services.
“We believe this transaction will enable us to continue to execute against our strategy and strengthen our market position as a leader in marketing, risk, security and communication solutions,” said Lisa Hook, Neustar’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Golden Gate Capital and GIC offered us a compelling opportunity to continue to invest and pursue long-term growth with operational flexibility, and we look forward to working with these two sophisticated investors. Importantly, customers, employees and partners will continue to benefit as we execute against our strategy.”
“We strongly believe in the Company’s strategic direction and have been very impressed with the team’s ability to transform the business into both a trusted, neutral provider to the telecom industry and a leading information services provider,” said Rishi Chandna, a Managing Director with Golden Gate Capital. “We look forward to partnering with the Neustar team to achieve its strategic objectives, make the Company’s competitive advantages even more compelling and drive value for all of Neustar’s stakeholders.”
Golden Gate describes itself as “a privately held enterprise with over $15 billion in committed capital. Unlike conventional private equity firms, we operate as a private holding company and recapitalize, restructure, and ultimately build meaningful businesses in partnership with management over an indefinite time horizon.”
The transaction is expected to close no later than the end of the third calendar quarter of 2017 and is subject to approval by Neustar’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, Neustar may solicit alternative proposals from third parties for 30 days.