DoubleClick Sale Confirmed

Less than a week after rumors circulated about an imminent sale, DoubleClick has agreed to be acquired by a pair of companies led by equity firm Hellman & Friedman, in San Francisco.

DoubleClick shareholders will receive an aggregate $1.1 billion in the deal, or $8.50 per share. Hellman’s investment partner in the DoubleClick purchase is JMI Equity in San Diego. The two have teamed up on other software investments, including Blackbaud.

DoubleClick chief executive Kevin Ryan will step down, and the company’s board will be exchanged, after the deal closes. During a conference call discussing the sale, Ryan said David Rosenblatt will become CEO of the TechSolutions division, and Brian Rainey will be CEO of the DataSolutions division.

Ryan said the company had been in talks and negotiations with dozens of companies, including equity firms and competitors.

“DoubleClick has two outstanding franchises with strong presence in their marketplaces. They have powerful brand names, experienced management, and dedicated and skilled employees,” said Philip Hammarskjold, managing director of Hellman & Friedman.

Closing is subject to stockholder approval and debt financing arrangements.

Investment banker Lazard Freres & Company represented DoubleClick in its quest for a buyer, underway since last November. The company partly blamed costs incurred during that search for its poor first quarter results, which amounted to a loss of $0.01 per share. Executives said staffers were also paid to stay on despite the uncertainty.

Hellman & Friedman has invested in 50 companies over approximately twenty years. They include agencies Digitas and Young & Rubicam. Executive remarks today suggested the company would run DoubleClick as a business, but the dual-CEO status conferred on Rosenblatt and Rainey raised the possibility the company might be split in two.

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