“Mayer”
Granat

Amid a takeover battle, Cision on April 29 reported first quarter revenue was flat at 206M krona ($31.6M) while net profit jumped 84% over a year earlier to around $1.7M.

Peter Granat, CEO of the Sweden-based PR software provider, said business is "stabilized," adding that investments in sales and marketing this year should fuel organic growth. While growth of its CisionPoint platform showed "momentum," Granat cited challenges from a declining US broadcast business and its Canadian business, which is not yet a "digital first" business.

North American revenue slipped 1.9% to around $23.6M, as currency effects and declining broadcast and monitoring revenue were a drag on stable subscription PR revenues.  Layoffs and closure of small offices resulted in a hit of about $460K during the period.

Cision had 963 employees through the first quarter, down 17% from December 31.

Granat said the Chicago private equity unit Blue Canyon Holdings – which acquired Vocus this month -- has acquired 71.9% of the company's shares and votes as of April 25, pegging Cision's value at around 909M krona ($140M).

Blue Canyon is competing with Cision rival Meltwater News, which has a 63 krona-per-share tender offer open through May 27. That offer is contingent on acceptance of 70% of shares.

Cision's European business was up 7.7% to around $8.6M on solid subscription revenue growth from Germany, Portugal and the Nordic countries, in particular. 

Cision's annual meeting is set for May 27 in Stockholm. Blue Canyon's GTCR Investment vehicle has requested a special meeting, which is scheduled for May 20.