Cougs' Buchanan outshines field

Randy Buchanan

Daniel-Island-based Blackbaud Inc. is scheduled to release its latest earnings Wednesday afternoon.

The software company's fourth-quarter and 2011 financial report comes as the antitrust review of Blackbaud's plans to acquire a Texas rival for $275 million enters its second month.

On Friday, Blackbaud pushed back the expiration date on its offer to acquire Convio to allow the Department of Justice more time to review the deal. Both Blackbaud and Austin, Tex.-based Convio make software specifically for nonprofits.

While the delay will cost Blackbaud at least the $125,000 fee to refile the premerger notification form it temporarily withdrew last week, the company hopes that by extending the informal review process, it will avoid a more formal request for information that could postpone the deal for months. The $16-a-share offer can be extended in 10-day increments by agreement of the parties through Sept. 30, if need be, and also must still be approved by Convio's shareholders.

Earlier this month, Convio, which had 467 employees at the time of the merger announcement in January, reported $12.5 million in net income in 2011, most of which was attributable to a one-time tax benefit, on revenues of $80.4 million, up 15 percent from 2010.

Blackbaud, about half of whose 2,200 employees are at its local headquarters, reported almost $30 million in profit on $327 million in revenue in 2010.

Wednesday's earnings announcement, at 5 p.m., will be followed by a conference call, during which the Convio deal is likely to be a topic of conversation. Blackbaud CEO Marc Chardon said last month he expected the deal to close by the end of March.