In spite of its postage-themed name, California-based Stamps.com accepted a $6.6 billion all-cash offer Friday (July 9) from private equity giant Thoma Bravo, in a deal that, at $330 per share, marks a nearly 70 percent price premium and an enormous bet on the future of eCommerce shipping and logistics.
In announcing the acquisition, which was unanimously approved by Stamps’ board of directors, the company reflected on continuing its 20-year heritage of innovation, which began with traditional postage services and has morphed and grown over the decades in a portfolio of over 500 mailing and shipping applications.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone in the history of Stamps.com and will provide us with a new and exciting platform from which we can continue to execute our global strategy driven by best-in-class software and technology solutions,” CEO Ken McBride said in a press release.
While the Stamps board has accepted the terms and advised shareholders to approve, the company still has 40 days to “Go Shop” and entertain competitive offers should they arise.
In the meantime, the company that posted a record $758 million in sales last year, is already touting the benefits of expanding in private with the financial clout and operational expertise of Thoma Bravo, which currently has nearly $80 billion in assets under management.
In its most recent quarterly results released in early May, Stamps.com posted $189.1 million in Q1 2021 mailing and shipping revenue, which was up 28 percent from Q1 2020, even as the company’s customized postage revenue fell to zero with the USPS ending the program effective June 16, 2020. Stamps.com also said it had 991,000 paid customers in Q1 2021, up 28 percent from a year ago.
“Stamps.com can continue to innovate and pursue growth opportunities to capture the expanding e-commerce shipping market and extend our position as the leading global multi-carrier e-commerce shipping software company,” McBride said.
Clearly, the company’s name is a bit of a misnomer in 2021 given its current business model and future plans, and comes at a time of great demand in the retail industry and beyond for faster, local logistical solutions that can get goods to customers in hours rather than weeks.
The acquisition also comes at a time of growing global supply chain headwinds that are forcing companies to find creative new high-tech ways to move inventory and fulfill orders around the world.
“With a highly-seasoned management team that has driven impressive growth for more than twenty years, an innovative suite of market-leading software solutions, and a large and growing customer base, Stamps.com is well positioned to capitalize on the strong secular tailwinds in e-commerce and we are excited to support the Company in its next chapter of growth,” Thoma Bravo managing partner Holden Spaht said in a statement which also pointed to the rapidly evolving eCommerce landscape.
If a superior offer does not come in, the companies said they expect the transaction to close in the third quarter, noting that customary closing conditions will apply, including approval from stockholders and regulators.
In addition to its namesake logo, Stamps.com also operates the Endicia, ShipStation, ShipEngine, ShippingEasy, ShipWorks, GlobalPost and Metapack brands, which would continue to be run out of the company’s existing corporate headquarters in El Segundo, California.