PR software maker Cision to go public in deal with blank-check firm

(Reuters) - Public relations software provider Cision said it would go public as part of a merger with a blank-check company, as it seeks capital to double down on the fast-growing marketing software industry.

Chicago-based Cision, which owns press release distributor PR Newswire, marketing software firm Gorkana and media service Help a Reporter Out, expects to have an enterprise value of $2.4 billion.

Companies have been investing heavily on marketing technology, which helps them analyze ads, social media and other data to better target customers.

Research firm IDC estimates that organizations worldwide will spend about $32 billion on marketing software by 2018.

Cision, which is controlled by U.S. private equity firm GTCR LLC, will become a unit of blank-check firm Capitol Acquisition Corp III CLAC.O, the companies said on Monday.

Blank-check companies do not generally have an established business plan and are used as investment vehicles to buy other companies. They have become popular as a quick way to list shares.

Cision shareholders will own about 68 percent of the new company while Capitol will own the rest.

The PR software firm’s management and GTCR will continue to own their equity stake.

Cision Chief Executive Kevin Akeroyd will remain at the helm once the deal is completed, and Capitol Acquisition CEO Mark Ein will join the combined company’s board.

Capitol Acquisition Corp III, which raised $325 million in a 2015 initial public offering, is third publicly traded investment vehicle launched by Washington, D.C.-based Capitol.

Capitol's first investment vehicle, Capitol Acquisition Corp, created mortgage real estate firm Two Harbors Investment Corp TWO.N, while the second one merged with travel company Lindblad Expeditions Inc LIND.O.

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse were financial and capital markets advisers to Capitol Acquisition, while PJT Partners was Cision’s financial adviser.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar