After several weeks of rumors, a big-ticket takeover in the cloud computing space has been confirmed: Rackspace (NYSE: RAX) is to be acquired by private equity operator Apollo Global Management (NYSE: APO). The $32 per share cash deal values it at around $4.3 billion.
Rackspace investors are making out pretty well at that share price -- it represents a nearly 40% premium to the company's stock value on the day before the rumors started to swirl.
Earlier this month, citing "people familiar with the matter" The Wall Street Journal published a story asserting that Rackspace was in advanced negotiations with "one or more" private equity companies, and a deal was close to being agreed. Reuters subsequently published a story naming Apollo Global Management as the likely buyer.
The acquired party touted the benefits of being under Apollo Global Management's wing. In its press release announcing the deal, Rackspace quoted its co-founder and Chairman Graham Weston as saying that the company is "excited that this transaction will provide Rackspace with more flexibility to manage the business for long-term growth and enhance our product offerings."
Although $4.3 billion seems like a high amount, it actually represents something of a bargain on a historical basis. At one point in early 2013, Rackspace was a fairly hot stock, trading at nearly $80 per share.
The Apollo Global deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. It has been unanimously approved by Rackspace's board of directors, but remains subject to stockholder approval. It also requires the consent of regulatory bodies in certain jurisdictions around the world.
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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned.