CLAUDIA ASSIS - Market Watch
Verifone Systems Inc. PAY, -1.12% shares skyrocketed late Monday after the payment and business services provider and private-equity firm Francisco Partners said they have struck a deal under which an investor group led by Francisco Partners will acquire Verifone for $23.04 a share in cash, or about $3.4 billion including Verifone's debt and a premium of about 54% on Monday's closing price of $15. Verifone's board of directors unanimously approved the agreement and recommends stockholders vote in favor of the transaction, the companies said in a statement. Verifone will become a privately held company after the deal closes, which is expected in the third quarter, they said. The merger agreement includes a "go-shop" period, which allows Verifone's board to "actively initiate, solicit, encourage, and potentially enter into negotiations with parties that make alternative acquisition proposals" until May 24. Verifone does not plan to disclose developments relating to the go-shop period unless the board requires further disclosure, the companies said. Verifone shares had ended the regular trading session down 1.1%.