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July 9 (Reuters) - Stamps.com (STMP.O) said on Friday private equity firm Thoma Bravo would take the e-commerce shipping solutions provider private for about $6 billion in cash, sending its shares nearly 64% higher.
Stamps.com shareholders will receive $330 per share, according to the agreement, representing a premium of about 67% to the stock's close on Thursday.
The deal, expected to close in the third quarter of this year, is valued at about $6.6 billion including debt.
Thoma Bravo is one the largest software-focused private equity firms with more than $78 billion in assets under management. Its portfolio companies include information technology services provider SolarWinds Corp (SWI.N) and cybersecurity firm McAfee Corp (MCFE.O).
The high premium for Stamps.com was reasonable and justifiable in the context of recent software deals, K Liu & Co analyst said in a note.
"We have always viewed Stamps.com as a juggernaut in the e-commerce space and believed shares could eventually garner a premium valuation more akin to highly regarded peers like Shopify," the note said.
Stamps.com targets its services at small businesses and home offices and helps them print U.S. Postal Service-approved postage right from their workplace. The company, which has nearly 732,000 monthly subscribers, has also partnered with Microsoft (MSFT.O).
The deal also includes a 40-day "go-shop" period, which will allow the company to consider alternative offers, Stamps.com said.
The company's shares were trading at $323.42, about $7 behind the offer price.