Skift Take

Zerve investors obviously determined that any acquisition offers that emerged weren't in their best interests but at least now it's certain that there was at least one concrete buyout offer, if not others, out there.

Within 24 hours after tours and activities platform Zerve announced June 30 that it would be shutting down this week, leaving its tour-company clients scrambling for alternative platforms, rival Zozi offered to acquire Zerve’s assets for $6 million in cash and stock, Skift has learned.

The deal, according to the source, would have kept Zerve running for 30 to 60 days, and separately would have provided an additional $5 million in guaranteed income to Zerve clients that transitioned to the Zozi platform for bookings, ticketing and support.

After asking Zerve about the Skift report, Andreas Stavropoulos, a partner in Zerve investor DFJ, said: “Over the past several months, we have had discussions with a large number of companies interested in potentially acquiring Zerve. Unfortunately, we were not able to come to agreement with anyone on terms that made sense and that would have been a good outcome for our seller partners.”

“We cannot comment any further due to non-disclosure agreements, but just know that if there had been a better path available to us, we would have taken it,” Stavropoulos said.

The source said Zerve never replied to the acquisition offer from Zozi.

Instead, Zerve accepted a roughly $100,000 payment from another competitor, FareHarbor, to keep Zerve running this week, and then Zerve recommended that its clients transition to FareHarbor as a ticketing and support alternative. FareHarbor said Monday that roughly 200 Zerve clients had migrated to FareHarbor.

Asked for comment about the Skift report that Zozi offered to acquire Zerve, Zozi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a second source, Zerve’s 2015 revenue was likely in the $3.5 to $4.5 million range.

To put that number in context, it is believed that FareHarbor is believed to have generated about $8 million in revenue in the first half of 2016.

Without detailing numbers, and after having been rebuffed privately, on Monday Zozi publicly offered to keep Zerve afloat for 60 to 90 days and to consider acquiring some of its assets.


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Tags: tours and activities, zozi

Photo credit: Tours and activities company Zozi offered to acquire rival Zerve's assets for $6 million in cash and stock. Frame

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