CoStar Drops Bid to Purchase CoreLogic, Blaming Rising Rates

By Craig Giammona | March 5, 2021

CoStar Group Inc. has withdrawn its bid to buy the real estate data firm CoreLogic Inc, according to a statement on Thursday.

CoreLogic, the subject of a bidding war in recent weeks, had said earlier that CoStar’s sweetened offer for the company was not superior to the all-cash deal it already had with a pair of suitors.

CoreLogic, known in the real estate industry for its home-price indexes, has become an appealing target amid a pandemic housing rally fueled by historically low mortgage rates. Its board agreed last month to be acquired by funds managed by Stone Point Capital and Insight Partners for $80 a share in cash.

CoStar Chief Executive Officer Andrew Florance had called that proposal “materially less” than his company’s initial bid, which he said had a “headline value” of $86.30 a share. CoStar recently made another push to buy the company, adding a $6 a share cash component to what had been an all-stock offer.

Even with that addition, the board unanimously agreed that the proposal needed further improvement, CoreLogic Chief Executive Officer Frank Martell said in a letter seen by Bloomberg News.

In the statement Thursday, CoStar congratulated Stone Point and Insight Partners on their “successful bid” to acquire CoreLogic.

CoreLogic shares dipped as much as 4.6% $78 in late trading in New York. CoStar jumped as much as 8.8% to $825.07 on the news.

U.S. mortgage rates jumped above 3% for the first time since July on Thursday, threatening the housing rally and potentially crimping a mortgage industry that posted record profits in 2020 as a flood of Americans rushed to refinance debt.

CoStar said that rising interest rates “have caused valuations for residential property technology companies to decline significantly in recent weeks, which has changed CoStar’s view of the value of CoreLogic.”

Irvine, California-based CoreLogic had launched a strategic review in November amid a boardroom battle with investors Cannae Holdings Inc. and Senator Investment Group. The pair subsequently won three seats on CoreLogic’s board.

The investors had offered to buy the company in June for $66 a share but withdrew from the process after CoreLogic said it received indications of interest at $80 or above.

–With assistance from John Gittelsohn.

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