Friday Nooner: GDC’s Bill Spruill Shares What Secrets He Can About Acquisition

In this week’s episode of The Friday Nooner, hosts Pete, Joe and Chantal had the chance to chat with Global Data Consortium CEO (or is it Chief Executive Pirate?) Bill Spruill. 

Spruill has seen his name in the news plenty of late because of GDC’s announced acquisition by London Stock Exchange Group last week. The Raleigh-based fintech has been on the record comparing the as-of-yet undisclosed financial terms to rank somewhere between past Triangle exits from Bronto ($200 million in 2015 to Netsuite; the GrepBeat Godfather was Bronto’s Co-Founder and CEO) and PrecisionLender ($510 million in 2019). And Pete did get Bill to state for the record that the deal was definitely for more than $100 million.

Here are some highlights from the episode:

  • Pete, Joe and Chantal held a discussion surrounding Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s public offer to buy Twitter for about $41 billion (or $54.20 a share, with an emphasis on the $4.20). Joe might have captured it best when he said Musk is the “world’s biggest troll.” The group then dove into the broader topic of how people from Musk’s generation—Internet 1.0—often view social media platforms differently, espousing the values of unregulated free speech rather than how they need to operate in the current world.
  • When Spruill entered the show, it was time to dive into the news of the hour: GDC’s massive (but undisclosed) acquisition by London Stock Exchange Group. Spruill referred to the journey to get to today as the “Trail of Tears.” It started with a one-room office in downtown Raleigh, included two pivots and many restless nights. But once this deal came through, Spruill has been vocal about not forgetting where you came from, and not forgetting the employees who have helped you along the way. (The 25 current and past GDC employees who are newly minted millionaires as a result of the deal probably agree.)
  • In an earlier 2019 Download article on GrepBeat, Spruill voiced his fear that GDC would exit too soon because of an offer they couldn’t refuse. So why was now the right time? Spruill is confident it was the correct decision. As he says, yes, it was a deal they couldn’t resist, but there is a huge difference between a company trying to sell and someone else presenting an offer that makes too much sense to turn down.

Thanks to our sponsor for this quarter, which is none other than Grep-a-palooza, our one-day conference on June 9. (Get your tickets here.) Watch the full episode on LinkedIn here or on Facebook here.

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About Suzanne Blake 308 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.