Analysts International Corp., an Edina-based data services firm that is one of the last with ties to the high-tech heyday the Twin Cities experienced in the 1960s, said Wednesday it agreed to a $35 million cash takeover by American CyberSystems of Duluth, Ga.
The deal came after Analysts’ largest shareholder, a Milwaukee-based investment fund, in May publicly urged management to “be open to all strategic alternatives,” including selling the company.
Executives at Analysts International didn’t return phone calls for comment. “This merger is good for our customers, employees and shareholders,” Brittany McKinney, Analysts’ CEO, said in a statement.
The company said its board had approved the offer, which valued Analysts at $6.45 a share, a 62 percent premium above its average closing price over the past month. The shares jumped 59 percent to $6.38 on news of the buyout.
A representative at the shareholder, Heartland Advisors, said investment managers responsible for the firm’s stake in Analysts weren’t available.
Heartland disclosed its nearly 10 percent stake in Analysts in a regulatory filing in May and released a letter urging Analysts management to address problems that were “causing the company to be discounted in the marketplace.” It criticized Analysts’ business strategy, corporate governance and its “failure to align the current board interests with shareholders.”
American CyberSystems is a closely held provider of technology staffing and developers on a project basis, chiefly for government and large corporate clients.
Founded in 1966, Analysts International stood out as a technology services company at a time when the Twin Cities was known as an early center of computer manufacturing, led by the work that firms like Control Data, Honeywell and Univac were doing in mainframes and supercomputers.
While those hardware companies saw their products overtaken by newer technology and eventually transformed or faded away, Analysts International persisted and survived, though it never became a giant. The firm provided IT services and consulting to companies of various sizes, including some giants like General Motors and IBM.
It benefited from the growth in outsourcing of data services in the 1990s and grew to its largest size in the latter part of that decade by assisting clients with the so-called Y2K crisis, in which computers across the world had to be reprogrammed to handle the date change to the year 2000.
The company’s revenue peaked at $620.2 million in 1999 and, the following year, it reported 4,000 employees in 45 cities in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
Last year, the firm reported break-even earnings on revenue of $106 million. In its most recent quarter ended June 29, the company earned $519,000 on revenue of $25.7 million. It currently has about 870 employees and operates in 14 U.S. cities.