Private equity offer for MariaDB gets thumbsup from shareholders

From SPAC and back as 68% say yes

MariaDB shareholders have backed a private equity takeover offer for the troubled database vendor.

The MySQL fork, which counts Samsung, Nokia, and ServiceNow among its customers, has in recent months seen a private equity bid led by K1 Investment Management and subsequent higher bid from application development and infrastructure vendor Progress Software.

In an SEC filing this week, the K1 bidding group announced it has "received irrevocable undertakings to accept the offer from around 68.5 percent of the existing MariaDB shares."


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In February, MariaDB said private equity company K1 Investment Management had bid $37.3 million (or $0.55 per share) to take the database company private. The offer took the form of an "unsolicited non-binding indicative proposal to acquire the company's shares through K5 Private Investors," a fund controlled by K1. At the time, MariaDB said its board was reviewing the offer and taking advice.

Publicity surrounding the offer provoked one of MariaDB's lenders to warn it could "sweep" the accounts of the database company under the terms of its loan.

In March, Progress Software confirmed it was considering a possible offer for MariaDB plc at a value of $0.60 per share, valuing the firm at around $40.6 million. In a statement at the time, the company said: "Progress believes MariaDB's relational database management (RDBMS) products offer an attractive value proposition for customers who need a scalable, open source relational database with the backing of a trusted enterprise software company."

While the open-source MariaDB database remains governed by the MariaDB Foundation, the company, which offers a bunch of proprietary technologies around it, has experienced financial turbulence in the last two years. It floated on the New York Stock Exchange in late 2022 but in April 2023, it cut a number of jobs and reiterated a "going concern" warning.

In October 2023, MariaDB plc announced access to a $26.5 million loan facility but said it was ditching strategic products and cutting 28 percent of the workforce. The move to end product lines, including its DBaaS service, baffled analysts.

In December, it spun out the SkySQL DBaaS to be owned by a newly established cloud database company of the same name. ®

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