NEWS18 May 2010

Opponent of Infogroup sale ups shareholding

M&A North America

US— Infogroup investor Hotchkis & Wiley has upped its stake in the firm, having earlier voiced opposition to the planned sale of the database marketing and research company.

Hotchkis & Wiley is the second-largest shareholder in the group. Previously it held 5.7% of shares, but in a series of trades dating back to 19 April the investment firm bought an additional 966,700 shares – increasing its holding to 7.3%.

Infogroup has agreed a sale to private equity firm CCMP Capital, valuing the business at $460m, or $8 a share. Hotchkis & Wiley, along with another shareholder Stonerise Capital, has argued against the deal, believing that “under the leadership of [CEO] Bill Fairfield’s team the fundamental value of Infogroup is well in excess of $12 per share”.

The shares recently bought by Hotchkis & Wiley were priced between $7.90 and $8.18 per share – suggesting that the investment firm believes a higher-priced offer is on its way or that the CCMP bid will fail.

Shareholders have yet to vote on the takeover, but it is known to have the backing of the Infogroup board and founder and former CEO Vin Gupta, who owns 36% of the company.