Hellman & Friedman LLC is among private equity firms that submitted bids to acquire Shutterfly Inc. (SFLY:US), the online digital photo storage and printing company, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Other buyout funds including Bain Capital LLC are also interested in Shutterfly, though it hasn’t attracted technology and Internet companies, one of the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. Offers for the photo-sharing site were due this week, and a deal could be completed in early September, this person said.
Shutterfly may be valued at about $2 billion in a sale, one of the people said. The Redwood City, California-based company’s shares rose about 2.6 percent to $51.15 as of 1:06 p.m. in New York.
“Given current share price levels, we would expect the company’s board to seek a larger premium -- perhaps at or above the 52-week high,” of about $59 (SFLY:US), said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., in a note to clients. That would value Shutterfly’s equity at about $2.3 billion.
Sebastian rates Shutterfly at outperform. Representatives for Shutterfly, Hellman & Friedman and Bain declined to comment.
Shutterfly enables customers to print photos onto items like mugs, pillows, and iPad cases. It has acquired companies such as Tiny Prints and Wedding Paper Divas to round out a portfolio of stationery, greeting cards and invitations. It also acquired Kodak Gallery from Eastman Kodak Co., in 2012.
The company competes with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s Snapfish as well as retailers including CVS Caremark Corp. Founded in 1999, its early backers included Netscape Communications Corp.’s co-founder Jim Clark.
Before today, the shares had gained about 15 percent since July 2, when Bloomberg reported that Shutterfly hired Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers.
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