Shares of Verifone Systems (NYSE: PAY) have skyrocketed today, up by 52% as of 12:20 p.m. EDT, after the company announced last night that it was going private. A group of private investors led by private equity firm Francisco Partners has agreed to acquire the company for $23.04 per share in cash.
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The total purchase price is about $3.4 billion, which includes Verifone's net debt. The $23.04 per share price represents a premium of 54% compared to yesterday's close, and Verifone's board has unanimously approved the agreement. The deal will still need to be approved by shareholders, and the board recommends that investors vote in favor of the deal. Once the deal closes, Verifone will become a privately held company.
The offer is not subject to financing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter. The payment terminal maker will have a "go-shop" period where it can solicit competing bids through May 24.
"We are pleased to reach this agreement with Francisco Partners. This transaction delivers significant cash value to our stockholders and provides compelling benefits for our clients," Verifone CEO Paul Galant said in a statement. "We believe this transaction reflects the progress we have made executing our transformation from a terminal sales company to a payments and commerce solutions provider. With Francisco Partners' resources, expertise and track-record growing global technology businesses, we are confident that we will be better positioned to serve the needs of our clients around the globe."
If the deal is approved, it'll be the end of the road for public shareholders once Verifone goes private, but the good news is they'll be paid a handsome premium, which helps compensate for shares underperforming the broader market in recent months.
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