June 26, 2020 / 5:59 PM / 19 days ago

Cannae Holdings, hedge fund Senator Investment Group bid for CoreLogic

BOSTON, June 26 (Reuters) - Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group on Friday said they plan to buy CoreLogic Inc for $7 billion, sending shares in the data and analytics company surging more than 25%.

The holding company and hedge fund, which jointly hold an economic interest of roughly 15% in CoreLogic, are offering $65 a share in cash and said the proposal is "well in excess of what the company can achieve under its current plans."

The company's stock price traded at $66.58 at midday on Friday.

"We would seek to reignite growth at CoreLogic, increasing operating efficiency, and improve overall allocation of scarce capital resources," Cannae Holding's chief executive officer Richard Massey and Senator partner Quentin Koffey wrote to the board.

CoreLogic said it "will carefully review the proposal."

The bid illustrates a different kind of activism where a hedge fund is partnering with an operating company to buy an entity and then run it, instead of just pushing management to run the business better itself.

Cannae last year helped buy data and analytics company Dunn & Bradstreet Corp and Bill Foley, Cannae's chairman, has over three decades experience as an industry operator who has boosted revenue growth at companies. Senator has invested with a number of companies Foley has run, a person familiar with the two sides said.

Cannae and Senator said they are "committed to this transaction," and could sign a definitive merger agreement within four weeks after seeing relevant documents. They also warned that they would be able to call a special meeting and refresh the board if the company blocks their plans.

So far two sides have not had any discussions, a person familiar with the matter said. But in the letter Cannae and Senator said they hope the two sides can "engage constructively." (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Tom Brown)

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