Shutterfly Inc. is in talks to go public through a merger with a blank-check company, according to people familiar with the matter, less than two years after
Apollo Global Management Inc.
APO -1.69%
took the online-photo-book maker private.The company is discussing a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company called
Altimar Acquisition Corp.
ATMR.UT -1.28%
II that would value it at between $4 billion and $5 billion including debt, the people said. Details of the potential transaction couldnt be learned.Any deal could be weeks away, some of the people said, and there is no guarantee the parties will reach an agreement. If they do, it would add Shutterfly to the long list of companies taking part in a recent explosion of deals involving SPACs, which raise money in a public offering with plans to later find one or more companies to merge with.
The Altimar vehicle went public in February, raising $345 million to put toward a deal, which as is typical would likely include additional funds raised privately. A previous vehicle, Altimar Acquisition Corp., agreed last year to combine two investment firms and take them public in a $12.5 billion deal that at the time was one of the largest blank-check transactions.
Founded in 1999, Shutterflys namesake brand helps consumers print their photos onto personalized books and gift items. The company owns Lifetouch, which does school photography and operates portrait studios and also has a digital-printing arm for businesses. It first went public in 2006. Apollo bought the company in 2019 for around $2.6 billion including debt and then combined it with Snapfish LLC to create a bigger player in online-photo services.
Prior to Shutterflys leveraged buyout, its outlook had faded as online-photo services became ubiquitous and competitors with ample resources, including Google Photos, stole market share. But demand for photo keepsakes has increased since the pandemic arrived about a year ago and made people nostalgic for past travels and special occasions such as weddings and graduations. Shutterflys revenue growth, which was roughly flat when Apollo bought it, is now in the double digits, one of the people said.
Potentially adding to the appeal of a public listing for Shutterfly and its backers, shares of e-commerce companies such as pet-food retailer
Chewy Inc.
and craft marketplace
Etsy Inc.
have performed well during the pandemic.
Moonpig Group
PLC, Shutterflys U.K. equivalent, went public last month.
SPACs have been a godsend for private-equity firms, offering a streamlined alternative to an initial public offering for their portfolio companies. A steady stream of private-equity-owned companies have agreed to go public through SPAC mergers since the blank-check frenzy took hold on Wall Street in the past couple years.
Carlyle Group Inc.
is eyeing a SPAC deal for Syniverse Technologies LLC that could turn around the fortunes of the decade-old investment, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com and Miriam Gottfried at Miriam.Gottfried@wsj.com
Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8