By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON, July 9 (Reuters) - Cannae Holdings and Senator Investment Group, which are trying to buy property data and analytics company CoreLogic Inc, have hired a proxy solicitor, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
A proxy solicitor polls large shareholders on how they plan to vote on hotly contested corporate matters like mergers or proxy fights. Hiring one signals that Cannae and Senator are taking next steps to prepare for a potential fight with CoreLogic.
The source said the two firms tapped D.F. King two days after CoreLogic rejected their unsolicited $7 billion takeover bid.
Last month Cannae and Senator, which jointly hold an economic interest of roughly 15% in CoreLogic, proposed to buy the company, valued at $5.3 billion, for $65 a share. The stock has since risen past the offer price and closed at $67.54 on Thursday.
This week, Cannae and Senator said they still hope to engage with the company but also said they could call a special meeting as soon as July 28 to replace the current board. CoreLogic said it "is open to all viable paths to increasing shareholder value" and that it is "willing to meet with Senator and Cannae."
Bank of America has said that it was sure it could arrange financing for the deal.
D.F. King has worked with Xerox in a hostile bid for HP, which was canceled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mantle Ridge in its investment in Aramark where the investment firm gained control of the board, and the Rice Brothers in their successful proxy contest at natural gas producer EQT Corp.
Representatives for D.F. King, Cannae and Senator did not respond to requests for comment.
CoreLogic hired Innisfree as its solicitor, the company said earlier this week. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss)