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infoGROUP founder exploring stock buyback, taking company private

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Omaha, Neb.—Vin Gupta, the founder of database provider infoGROUP, released a statement Monday saying the company should "explore its strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company." He indicated he is considering a proposal to acquire all of the company's outstanding shares, and take it private.

"I believe that the infoGROUP stockholders would benefit from a cash or liquid stock proposal for their shares," said Gupta, in the release. "I am exploring working with an equity partner to make a cash proposal for the company to the board of directors."

Gupta said he had hired the Blackstone Group, to advise him as he considers making a bid for the company. Gupta also indicated he is open to other options, including selling his family's 40% stake in infoGROUP if the company is sold outright to another party.

Gupta was forced out last summer as CEO following shareholder lawsuits charging him with excessive expense reimbursements and corporate spending.

In a statement, infoGROUP chairman Bernard W. Reznicek, said, "...The present economic environment in general and capital markets in particular suggests that this would be a challenging time to try to maximize shareholder value by selling the company. Nevertheless, because the company founder and major shareholder has expressed an interest in selling the company, the independent directors will review with Evercore Partners, the company's independent financial advisor, our present and projected results of operations and general market conditions to determine what is in the best interests of all our shareholders." —Christopher Hosford

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