Blackbaud shares surged Tuesday morning after private equity group Clearlake Capital said it was looking to take a more active approach regarding its 18.4% stake in the cloud software company. Blackbaud was profiled in 2020 on Insightia’s Vulnerability module.
In a regulatory filing Monday afternoon, Clearlake said that while it initially purchased Blackbaud shares for investment purposes, “current market conditions and other factors” have made it change its stance to a more active approach. Santa Monica-based Clearlake manages roughly $72 billion in assets.
The firm now intends to talk to other company shareholders and Blackbaud’s top echelon about the business and opportunities to increase shareholder value, including by launching a strategic review, the filing reads. To further this agenda, Clearlake may seek to enter into a non-disclosure agreement.
Shares in Blackbaud were up 16% as of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, trimming year-to-date losses to 33% and placing the market capitalization at about $2.7 billion.
Blackbaud, a software company that offers services to nonprofits such as charities, churches, and colleges in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, was highlighted as a potential activist target on Insightia’s Vulnerability module back in April 2020.
The Vulnerability report, which can be accessed here by subscribers, argued that a savvy activist could place a bet on the company becoming a takeover target given its relative undervalued stock. Blackbaud shares were trading just under $50 each at the time, compared to Monday’s close of $45.
In February 2017, Blackbaud was targeted by short seller Newbrook Capital over its M&A strategy. The short outfit reckoned at the time that the company would no longer be able to fend off competition by acquiring rivals.