Report: SC tech giant’s top investor may renew buyout bid | Business

One of South Carolina’s largest publicly traded companies could be in play again, about a year after it rejected an unsolicited buyout offer from its largest shareholder.

Bloomberg News reported April 11 that Clearlake Capital Group LP is “exploring a renewed effort to take Blackbaud Inc. private,” citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the matter.

The Charleston-based technology company declined to comment about the buyout speculation.

Bloomberg reported that Clearlake, which owns 18.9 percent of Blackbaud’s shares, is in talks with “potential advisers about making a fresh offer” to the Daniel Island company’s board.

The Nasdaq-listed stock jumped more than 4 percent Thursday to close at $75.97. More than 1 million shares were bought and sold, unusually high volume for BLKB

It was less than a month ago that Blackbaud dissolved its stockholder rights plan six months early. The so-called poison pill was designed to make a hostile takeover prohibitively expensive.

“In deciding to terminate the rights plan, the board determined that an active rights plan is not necessary, at this time, to serve the best interests of all stockholders,” Blackbaud announced March 18.

The company did not elaborate.

Blackbaud, which went public in 2004, develops and sells cloud-based financial software and analytical services designed specifically to help charities and other donor-funded organizations raise money. It employs about 3,000 workers worldwide. 

The company adopted a poison pill in October 2022, soon after privately held Clearlake disclosed to regulators that it had paid more than $573 million, or $59 a share, to amass an outsized stake in the business.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm also declared it had changed its investor status from to “active” from “passive,” and planned to engage management about “strategic alternatives” and ways to boost the stock price.

In March 2023, Clearlake offered to buy the rest of the shares it didn’t own. The stock was trading around $56 before the bid was announced. Clearlake said it was ready to pay $71, or about $3.78 billion.


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