Possible alternative versions: 1. MariaDB Faces Takeover as Company Struggles with Database Market 2. Private Acquisition of MariaDB Looms as Troubled Database Firm Seeks $37M Deal 3. Database Giant MariaDB May be Going Private in $37M Buyout

MariaDB is the subject of another potential takeover bid, as the company behind the eponymous open source relational database management system (RDBMS) confirmed it had received a provisional offer from California-based K1 Investment Management. In the months that followed, MariaDB received its first “unsolicited non-binding indicative proposal,” this time from existing investor Runa Capital which tentatively offered $0.56 per share in cash. Three weeks later, Runa stated that it wouldn’t be acquiring MariaDB after all, but instead an associate company called RP Ventures would be providing a $26.5 million loan. This news led MariaDB’s stock to more than double in a couple of days, which is why K1 is making its bid relative to MariaDB’s closing price before any forbearance agreement was announced. So in many ways, K1 is perhaps better suited to take over MariaDB than Runa was, even if it ultimately decides against it.

MariaDB, the open source relational database management system, is facing a possible takeover bid from California-based K1 Investment Management, the company confirmed.

In a quiet announcement on Friday, K1 revealed that it had made an “unsolicited non-binding indicative proposal” for MariaDB. This preliminary offer, subject to change as negotiations continue, includes buying all MariaDB stock at $0.55 per share, worth approximately $37 million based on the company’s February 5 valuation.

This news comes during a time of significant changes at the company, with a new CEO and a downsizing effort that saw the sale of its database-as-a-service and geospatial businesses.

MariaDB was created as a fork of MySQL 15 years ago due to concerns about its ownership after a series of billion-dollar acquisitions by Oracle in 2009. It remains a popular choice for those seeking an open source alternative to MySQL, with usage by major companies for data storage and manipulation.

The company received $125 million in venture funding over the years to develop additional features and services, ultimately going public in 2022 through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). However, the IPO has not been successful, with the company’s market value declining from $445 million on its opening day to just over $10 million currently.

One major factor in this decline has been poor earnings reports, with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) warning in September that MariaDB was not meeting listing rules due to its market value falling below $50 million for 30 consecutive trading days.

In response, MariaDB received an initial offer from its investor Runa Capital offering $0.56 per share in cash. However, this deal fell through and instead an associate company, RP Ventures, provided a $26.5 million loan. In February, MariaDB entered a forbearance agreement with its creditors while seeking alternative financing solutions, leading to a short-term rise in its stock value.

K1 is now offering a 189% premium on MariaDB’s closing price before the forbearance agreement was announced. As a later-stage investor with a history of acquisitions, it may be better positioned than Runa Capital to take over MariaDB, although there is no guarantee it will make a formal bid by the March 29, 2024 deadline set by Irish Takeover Rules.

In the meantime, MariaDB will continue to operate with offices in Dublin, Ireland and Redwood City, California.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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