CoreLogic sees new acquisition interest amid board challenge

(Reuters) - CoreLogic Inc CLGX.N, the U.S. property data and analytics provider that is seeking to fend off a board challenge from investment firms Cannae Holdings Inc CNNE.N and Senator Investment Group LP, said on Monday that it saw acquisition interest from new "credible parties" as deal talks progressed.

Cannae and Senator have accused CoreLogic of refusing to launch a thorough sale process after it rebuffed their $7 billion acquisition offer. The investment firms have amassed a 15% stake in the Irvine, California-based company and are asking its shareholders to vote on Nov. 17 to replace nine of the company’s 12 board directors with their own nominees.

CoreLogic wrote to its shareholders on Monday that its strategic review process was progressing well and had secured multiple expressions of interest of at least $80 per share. Cannae and Senator’s highest offer was for $66 per share, and the investment firms said last month they would not submit a topping bid and would welcome a sale of the company at the $80 per share price level.

CoreLogic did not name the competing parties that submitted the expressions of interest, but sources familiar with the matter said they included Advent International Corp, Thoma Bravo LP and a consortium of Warburg Pincus LLC and GTCR LLC. All these private equity firms were in the process of signing or have signed confidentiality agreements to carry out due diligence on CoreLogic, according to the sources.

Commercial property data vendor CoStar Group Inc CSGP.O has informed CoreLogic that it wants to participate in the sale process only after the Nov. 17 shareholder vote, one of the sources said. White the private equity firms would pay cash to buy CoreLogic, CoStar has indicated it would seek to use its stock as currency to pay for any deal, the source added.

Advent, Thoma Bravo, Warburg Pincus, GTCR and CoStar did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis have recommended that CoreLogic shareholders vote for a minority of Cannae and Senator’s board nominees to ensure robust oversight of the company’s sale process.

CoreLogic said on Monday that its board directors had overseen deals with a combined value of more than $30 billion, and that they would be held to account by shareholders at the company’s next annual meeting if the sale process was not comprehensive.

CoreLogic, which last month posted record third-quarter earnings, added that Cannae and Senator’s board nominees were not suited to oversee the sale process, given that the investment firms’ bid undervalued the company.

Cannae and Senator did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Stephen Coates