After months of regulatory uncertainty, Blackbaud announced Thursday morning that the U.S. Department of Justice has finished reviewing the Daniel Island software company’s plan to acquire Texas competitor Convio.
The Blackbaud release didn’t specify the result of the antitrust review, which was the last major hurdle to closing the $275 million transaction. But Jana Eggers,Blackbaud’s senior vice president of products and marketing, confirmed the deal had received regulatory approval.
That means the government lawyers determined the combination of the two public companies would not harm the competitiveness of the nonprofit fundraising software market.
“The proposed acquisition remains subject to the expiration or earlier termination of this waiting period and other customary closing conditions,” the company release said.
As Eggers’ “Approved! :-)” message this afternoon indicated, the result of the DoJ review is a huge relief to Blackbaud. The company, half of whose roughly 2,200 employees work out of its Lowcountry headquarters, had been hoping to avoid a more rigorous, costly and time-consuming formal review by the DoJ, not to mention an outright rejection of the merger.
When Blackbaud CEO Marc Chardon announced the planned purchase of Convio on Jan. 17 he said he expected the deal to close within the first quarter. But Blackbaud had to withdraw and refile its premerger notification form twice and its offer to Convio five times between then and now.
The prospective combination of the companies attracted intense attention from customers and investment analysts as well as federal regulators. Thursday’s announcement means all those interested parties should have an answer to their questions soon.