Private equity firm Apollo Global Management is becoming a giant in the online photo book world. Apollo said on Tuesday it would acquire publicly-traded firm Shutterfly for $1.7 billion in cash, plus assumption of nearly a billion dollars in debt. At the same time, it is buying privately held Snapfish, a Shutterfly rival. A Wall Street Journal report said the Snapfish buyout was valued at about $300 million.
The deal ends Shutterfly’s 13-year life as a public company, which demonstrated the challenges for small public tech companies in getting attention from investors. Despite growth in revenue and profits, Shutterfly’s stock has been stagnant in recent years. That is despite a strong rally last year sparked by an acquisition that quickly dissipated when earnings disappointed in the fall. Apollo is paying $51 a share for Shutterfly, where the stock was trading in 2014.