Apis Capital Moves to Acquire Veritone

Veritone Inc. (NASDAQ: VERI) shares shot up on Monday after it was announced that Apis Capital Management, a private equity fund, has made an offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of the company.

Apis would be acquiring Veritone for $10.26 per share in an all-cash deal. This offer represents a 93% premium over the closing price of Veritone common stock on December 4, the date of Apis’s initial private written proposal to Veritone, and an 82% premium over the closing price on December 7.

The deal represents a total equity value of roughly $198 million.

Apis claims to have held preliminary discussions with certain of Veritone’s significant stockholders. The firm has reason to believe such stockholders would be supportive of a transaction of the nature described in an open letter sent to the board of directors.

Dr. Edgar Radjabli, managing partner of Apis Capital Management, commented:

We have determined it is necessary to take our offer directly to Veritone stockholders in order to deliver significant value to them as expeditiously as possible. This compelling transaction would deliver immediate liquidity to Veritone stockholders, at a premium to Veritone’s prospects as a stand alone company. Veritone shareholders have seen the management of the company unable to deliver value since its IPO, nor has management been able to provide a compelling vision for a turnaround in the company’s business, and we believe our proposal represents the best possible outcome. We are committed to completing this transaction and remain willing to work cooperatively with Veritone. Our vision for the company involves significant synergy with our growing portfolio of AI and machine learnings investments, opening up new opportunities for Veritone’s technology.

Shares of Veritone were last seen up 17% at $6.61, in a 52-week range of $4.95 to $27.95. The consensus analyst price target is $14.00.