Etsy’s stock popped after two private equity firms bought a portion of the company’s shares, both aiming to offer “strategic alternatives” for the online marketplace.
Private equity firm TPG Group Holdings, cofounded by James Coulter, purchased a 4.3 percent stake in Etsy, with a price tag of approximately $52.5 million, and Dragoneer Investment Group LLC, operated by Marc Stad, purchased a 3.7 percent stake for about $45 million, according to disclosures filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Etsy’s stock rose more than 20 percent during the first hour of trading, hitting $13.60 per share.
The firms referred to one another in their disclosures, both saying they look forward to working with each other and “engaging with the company, its employees and the broader Etsy community of artists and entrepreneurs to plan and build for Etsy’s long-term future.”
TPG noted, however, that it felt Etsy’s shares were “undervalued at the time of purchase” and that it has already reached out to the company with an offer of discussion “regarding strategic alternatives.”
Etsy said of the investments that the company “values constructive engagement with its shareholders and is focused on maximizing value for shareholders.”
The investments come after Etsy revealed early this month that its longtime chief executive officer Chad Dickerson was being replaced by Josh Silverman, a former ceo of Skype who had served on the board of the online marketplace for six months.
Etsy also revealed its current chief technology officer John Allspaw will be leaving the company at the end of May and Mike Brittain, now vice president of engineering, will take up the position.
The company didn’t give a specific reason for the executive shake-up and the announcement came at the same time Etsy posted first-quarter financial results.
While revenue for the quarter grew by 18.4 percent to $96.9 million, the company also recorded a net loss of $421,000, compared with year-ago net income of $1.2 million.
Etsy said at the time that the first quarter came in below expectations and although it expects things to improve, will be cutting about 80 employee positions, equal to 8 percent of its staff.
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