Business software maker Acxiom Corp.'s stock surged Monday after its largest shareholder indicated that it might launch a hostile takeover attempt to buy the remainder of the company's shares to revamp Acxiom's financial management. The deal would value the entire company at about $2 billion.
San Francisco-based investment firm ValueAct Capital Partners is offering $23 a share, a 25% premium to Little Rock-based Acxiom's 20-day average closing price. The company's shares rose $3.01, or 16%, to $21.25 on Monday.
Acxiom Chairman Charles D. Morgan said Acxiom's board members "strongly believe in the company's business and current strategy." But Morgan also said the board would review the offer in accordance with its obligations to do what is right for shareholders.
In an internal memo to employees, Morgan said that the offer "does not mean Acxiom is for sale" and that $23 a share was too little. He also said the company had elements in place to prevent a hostile takeover.