Thoma Bravo to buy analytics firm Qlik in $3 billion deal

(Reuters) - U.S. data analytics firm Qlik Technologies Inc QLIK.O agreed to sell itself to private equity firm Thoma Bravo LLC for about $3 billion, the latest company to bow to pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Management Corp.

Qlik’s shares were up 4 percent at $30.13 in midday trading on Thursday, slightly below the offer price of $30.50 per share.

The shares had risen 20 percent through Wednesday’s close since Elliott urged a sale in early March.

Qlik, which went public in 2010, focuses on creating applications that help businesses analyze and visualize data to help them cut costs.

The company’s flagship product, QlikView, allows customers to organize vast amounts of data in the form of reports, charts and infographics.

Brean Capital LLC analyst Yun Kim said the price indicated there was “very little interest” for self-service business intelligence (BI) assets.

“We are somewhat surprised by the low takeout value, which we believe could have some profound impact on valuation of both public and private BI vendors,” the analyst wrote on Thursday.

Elliott, which disclosed an 8.8 percent stake in Qlik in March, had said the company was ripe for being taken over by a larger technology peer.

The hedge fund said later that month it increased its stake to about 10.8 percent. Elliott paid $23.50 per share on average, according to 13D Monitor, a research service that tracks 13D filings.

Elliott was not immediately available to comment on whether it supported Thursday’s deal.

Qlik joins a growing list of companies such as Compuware Corp, Riverbed Technology Inc, Blue Coat Systems and Informatica that have been bought by private equity firms after Elliott started urging them to sell. Some of these companies were sold to Thoma Bravo.

Reuters had reported on Tuesday that Thoma Bravo was preparing to submit a binding bid for Qlik.

Morgan Stanley is Qlik’s financial adviser and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP are its legal advisers.

Thoma Bravo was advised by Goldman Sachs, while Kirkland & Ellis LLP provided legal counsel.

Qlik said it would retain its headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania, after the deal closes in the third quarter.

Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila