CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) has been sold to equity investors Stone Point Capital and Insight Partners for about $6 billion in cash.
The $80 a share purchase price is a 51% premium to the big real estate data firm's June 25, 2020, share price, the Irvine, California-based company said in the Thursday announcement, in a reference to a previous offer that kicked off a bit of a bidding war.
CoreLogic stock was trading in the upper $70s in the days before the announcement and midday Friday was trading at about $81 a share.
The announcement said the deal is expected to close in the second quarter, but competing suitors for CoreLogic may not be done, including CoStar Group (NASDAQ: CSGP), which has been trying to make CoreLogic the latest in its string of acquisitions.
What all these folks are after is a database that contains nearly all U.S. property records, is refreshed daily, and dates back more than 50 years. That treasure trove of more than 4.5 billion records is used by more than 1.2 million real estate professionals, 9,000 mortgage lenders, and 4,500 property management companies.
The fight for CoreLogic dates back to last summer
CoStar has a higher, all-stock bid on the table, Bloomberg reports, and private equity giant Warburg Pincus also is competing to buy CoreLogic.
The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, said a spokesperson for CoStar said Thursday that the company was considering options that include a new bid, a proxy fight, or walking away from the deal.
CoreLogic began selling itself last summer after activist investors Senator Investment Group LP and Cannae Holdings offered to buy the company for $65 a share. (Millionacres' Matt Frankel took a look at that deal in this July article.) They later got three directors elected to the CoreLogic board.
The winning bidder and CoreLogic chairman say what and why
The CEO of one of the apparent winners, Chuck Davis of Stone Point Capital, said: "CoreLogic is a mission-critical vendor and data provider across industry sectors in which Stone Point has specialized over the past 20 years, including mortgage, residential real estate, and P&C insurance. CoreLogic's proprietary data assets are increasingly important to its customers, and we look forward to leveraging our network within the broader financial services industry to support the company's next phase of growth."
Meanwhile, CoreLogic Chairman Paul Folino said in the same announcement: "This is a significant milestone for CoreLogic and a very positive outcome for our shareholders who will receive exceptional value for their shares in cash with a high degree of regulatory certainty and a closing expected in the near term. The transaction is the culmination of our board's extensive review of strategic alternatives, which included engaging with numerous potential buyers."
The Millionacres bottom line
The demand for data, and its providers, seems to be as fevered as the demand for real estate itself. For example, private equity firm Thoma Bravo agreed to buy property-management-software provider RealPage (NASDAQ: RP) Inc. for $9.6 billion in December.
CoreLogic may be off the market soon, but you can still buy it, if you think it will go higher. And investors can still plow some bucks into other data providers among real estate stocks like Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) and Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN) (and for that matter, CoStar Group).
Each of these companies has their own mix of products and services, and how much the demand for their stock depends on a hot housing market remains to be seen, of course, although the increasingly sophisticated digitization of real estate information is obviously here to stay.