Withdrawal of Buyout Proposal Keeps InfoUSA Public

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Vin Gupta, chairman/CEO of database giant infoUSA, late Wednesday withdrew his proposal to take the Omaha company private by acquiring the outstanding shares of its common stock.


Gupta also said in a statement he would not vote for any other change of control of infoUSA or sell any of his shares. The decisions were made after Gupta's offer to take infoUSA private was not favored Aug. 24 by the company's special committee of the board of directors.


A corporate statement from the infoUSA board's special committee said that "while the committee had made no decision to recommend any transaction, the committee had determined, in light of [Gupta's] proposal and potential strategic alternatives available to the company, that it is in the best interests of the company's stockholders to continue to explore potential strategic alternatives."


Gupta, who was not immediately available for comment, announced his proposal to pay $11.75 in cash for each outstanding share of the infoUSA's common stock he did not own on June 13 . Vin Gupta & Co. LLC, a company controlled by Gupta, owns 38 percent of infoUSA's shares.


Had Gupta's offer been accepted, the transaction to go private would be completed through debt financing. Gupta's offer valued the company at $630 million.


Gupta told DM News in June that his rationale for trying to take infoUSA private was to avoid the regulations, stock price concerns and analyst scrutiny that come with being a public company.


However, private or not, Gupta said at the time that many initiatives started this year such as discontinuing infoUSA's wholesale pricing structure and emphasis on subscription services for small businesses like its Sales Genie product would continue.


Change has been afoot at infoUSA for some time now.


On Sept. 1 longtime executive Ed Mallin will assume the role of president of infoUSA's Donnelley Marketing Group with the departure of current president Ray Butkus. Another recent change at Donnelley was the departure of senior vice president of sales Dave Hendricks, who was replaced by 15-year Donnelley veteran Pete Giraldi.


InfoUSA in February bought retention-based e-mail technology firm @Once. And it made several acquisitions last year, including service bureau Triplex Direct Marketing, business data firm OneSource Information Services and list firm Edith Roman Associates.


Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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