Venture

The Ever-Cheaper Cloudera-Hortonworks Merger

At the start of October, Cloudera and Hortonworks announced they would merge, forming a valuable hybrid-cloud shop built on open source technologies, like Hadoop.

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The $5.2 billion merger caught our eye as it includes two companies that are recent-ish IPOs. The Cloudera IPO run is known for being executed at a fraction of its preceding private valuation. And the Hortonworks IPO for losing value.

Neither of those results are unique; many companies struggled after they go public (check here for notes on recent Chinese IPOs, and Dropbox nearly fell under its IPO price this week, and so on). But was notable was the union of the two firms into one.

The so-called “all-stock merger of equals” wasn’t, as Hortonworks shareholders would get about 40 percent of the combined company. So, among the equal companies, Cloudera was a bit more equal.

Since the deal was announced, however, the two companies have lost quite a lot of value. Indeed, according to Yahoo Finance, Cloudera is worth around $2.1 billion today, while Hortonworks is worth $1.5 billion. That adds up to $3.6 billion, only about 69 percent of the prior total.

Now, there may be some mathmagic in play as the firms claim that their valuation is based on a fully-diluted share count and we may have some sums different. What we can track, however, is the percent decline in the value of each company’s stock since the announcement (Data via Yahoo Finance):

  • Hortonworks closing price, October 3: $21.88
  • Hortonworks closing price, October 31: $17.86
  • Percent change: -18.7 percent
  • Cloudera closing price, October 3: $17.08
  • Cloudera closing price, October 31: $13.77
  • Percent change: -19.4 percent

Ouch.

The declines that we see from Cloudera and Hortonworks are similar to the other stock market gyrations that we have seen in recent weeks. Again, nothing here is unique to the two firms; stocks go up and down every day, as it turns out.

But what was once said to be worth more than five billion is now worth less than four, which should warn startups looking for valuation, or exit multiples in the space. Things are changing quickly.

Best of luck to Cloudera and Hortonworks, just next time don’t agree to an all-stock merger before a correction.

Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.

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