Active Network Said to Draw Takeover Interest From Buyout Firms

Active Network Inc., the sports-marketing technology company that hired Citigroup Inc. to review its options, has received interest from at least two private-equity buyers, people familiar with the matter said.

Thoma Bravo LLC and Vista Equity Partners are among firms that have been invited to make second-round bids by Oct. 7, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. The company has a market capitalization of about $711 million.

Active Network’s technology is used to manage events including marathons and cycling tournaments as well as business meetings. The San Diego-based company’s customers range from the State of California to Cisco Systems Inc., according to its website.

GTCR LLC, the Chicago-based buyout firm, has decided not to bid for the company after considering making an offer, said two people with knowledge of the matter.

Spokesmen at Active Network, Thoma Bravo and Citigroup declined to comment. Spokesmen for Vista Equity and GTCR weren’t immediately available to comment.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are forecast to reach $53.6 million this year, analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg show. Active Network could fetch as much as $770 million, according to another person familiar with the situation. That would be equivalent to 11 times projected Ebitda of $70 million, which a buyer may be able achieve through cost cuts, this person said.

In the last three years, buyers paid a median of 8.6 times Ebitda for computer services companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Shares of the Active Network are up 37 percent since it said on Aug. 1 that it received interest from potential acquirers and hired Citigroup to conduct a review of its options.

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