Marlin Equity’s Bazaarvoice enters second round of sale process

UBS is advising the company, whose software allows brands and retailers to collect and display several types of user-generated content on their e-commerce websites.

The sale process is underway for Bazaarvoice Network, a Marlin Equity Partners-backed advertising technology provider, sources familiar with the matter PE Hub. 

UBS is advising the company, which recently received first-round bids and is entering the second round of the sale process, the sources said.

Sponsors make up a majority of the first-round bidders, one of the sources said.

Bazaarvoice, based in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, provides software that allows brands and retailers to collect and display several types of user-generated content on their e-commerce websites.

Its clients include brands like Walmart, DSW, Samsung, Canon, Unilever, Verizon, Sephora, AT&T, Petco, Target, LG, Nestle, Macy’s, L’Oréal, YETI, among others.

Bazaarvoice generates $320 million of revenue and around $100 million of EBITDA, the sources said.

A sale could fetch Marlin Equity a significant return on investment. The firm took Bazaarvoice private in February 2018 for approximately $521 million, following which it was delisted from the NASDAQ. At this point in time a sale could value the business between $1.5 billion and $2 billion, one source estimated.

Bazaarvoice plays in the same market as Insight Partners-backed CommerceHub, a provider of hosted integration, drop-ship fulfillment and product content management for multi-channel e-commerce merchants. Other peers include Summit Partners-backed Syndigo, a software-as-a-service platform for product information management and syndication.

Both companies recently swapped PE owners as investor interest in e-commerce supply chain and product management technology businesses heats up.

CommerceHub was acquired by Insight Partners in December for $1.9 billion, according to a Bloomberg News article.

According to PE Hub sources, that valuation translates into a 21x multiple of CommerceHub’s 2019 EBITDA.

Syndigo’s latest valuation is unknown, but the company also recently took in new growth equity capital from Summit Partners in December 2020.

Under Marlin’ ownership, Bazaarvoice has grown through multiple add-on acquisitions.

In August 2019, the company acquired Influenster, a social shopping experience platform, to strengthen Bazaarvoice’s user-generated content and word-of-mouth experience for retailers and brands.

In July 2020, Bazaarvoice acquired Curalate, a provider of shoppable social, user-generated content and influencer marketing technology, to accelerate social content across the Bazaarvoice Network.

Sponsors are likely to factor in the level of integration of add-ons when valuing the business, one source pointed out.

Bazaarvoice, UBS and Marlin Equity did not return PE Hub’s requests for comment.