Marlin Equity Partners has agreed to acquire Bazaarvoice Inc. (Nasdaq: BV) for $521 million in cash, or $5.50 per share. The deal is a result of a strategic review process for the target. GCA Advisors and DLA Piper are advising Bazaarvoice. Schulte Roth $ Zabel is representing Marlin Equity.

Austin, Texas-based Bazaarvoice, founded in 2005, develops software that helps retailers and brands post customer product reviews on their websites and through other e-commerce channels. Bazzarvoice CEO Gene Austin says the acquisition provides the company "the operational flexibility it needs to continue its strategic vision."

Marlin Equity is a Los Angeles-based investment firm with more than $6.7 billion of capital under management. In March, Marlin Equity raised two private equity funds to back software companies: a flagship fund with nearly $2.5 billion in capital commitments and a small cap fund with $750 million. The firm, with an additional office in London, has completed more than 100 acquisitions since its establishment. In 2017, Marlin Equity reached a deal to buy telecom provider Tangoe for about $243 million.

Spending on digital advertising continues to rise, mainly because Americans love their screens. In other deals, Advantage Solutions acquired Brand Connections; Bain Capital Private Equity purchased a majority stake in Daymon Worldwide; GTCR purchased a majority stake in digital advertiser; and In 2016, Trans World Entertainment Corp. (Nasdaq: TWMC) bought Etailz.

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Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis

Demitri Diakantonis joined SourceMedia in 2015 and serves as Managing Editor of Mergers & Acquisitions. He covers all aspects of middle-market deamaking, with a focus on strategic buyers and the consumer and retail sectors, and writes The Buyside column.