Social networking site Plaxo has received an unsolicited acquisition offer of around $200 million, peHUB has learned. A source close to the situation says that Plaxo is seriously considering the approach, and also has begun informal conversations with other potential partners.
The New York Times this morning reported that Plaxo had retained investment bank Revolution Partners to manage the process, but the source tells peHUB that no such agreement has been signed. “Plaxo has not yet hired a banker,” the source said. “But plenty of bankers have called Plaxo, saying they have interested buyers. It’s like a real estate broker telling you that a great house is about to come onto the market.”
One possible barrier to the sale could be Plaxo Pulse, a new social networking service that had moved the company far beyond its original mission of updating online address books. The current buyout offer does not seem to bake in the same growth potential for Pulse that Plaxo sees, so it may opt to wait six months to prove its effectiveness. Oh, and Jeff Nolan sarcastically suggests that Plaxo is actually worth $3.81 billion, based on the Facebook valuation.
On the flipside, of course, is the possibility that Pulse underperforms. If so, then this may be the best time for Plaxo to sell.
A Plaxo spokeswoman declined to comment.
Mountain View, Calif.-based Plaxo is currently cash-flow positive, and has raised around $23 million in VC funding since 2002. Investors include Sequoia Capital, Globespan Capital Partners, DAG Ventures, Cisco Systems and Harbinger Venture Management.