NetCreations May Abandon DoubleClick Merger Offer

NetCreations Thursday said it plans to break off its planned merger with DoubleClick, after it received a better offer from an undisclosed company.

The New York-based email marketer said it has received a binding, written offer from an “unrelated” third party to acquire all of its outstanding shares $7 in cash, a deal valued at $110 million.

NetCreations said its board has decided that the new offer constitutes a better proposal than DoubleClick’s, and has notified the Alley ad giant of its intention to accept the competing offer.

DoubleClick’s all-stock bid for NetCreations had been valued at about $191 million at the time of its offer. Through that agreement, DoubleClick said it would pay 0.41 shares of DCLK in exchange for every share of NetCreation, or about $12.15 per share. That $12.15 represented a 17 percent increase over NTCR’s 10-day average price.

Since that time, as DoubleClick’s stock price has fallen, so has too the value of the deal. At press time, DoubleClick’s offer was worth about $59 million. DoubleClick would have wound up paying about $3.76 per share of NTCR, which had been trading at $6.50 until halted.

NetCreations chief financial officer Robert Mattes declined to comment on specifics of the deal. A spokesperson from DoubleClick said the company would release a statement about its intentions later on Thursday.

According to terms of their original agreement announced October 3, DoubleClick has three business days to offer a counter bid.

Also according to the original deal with DoubleClick, NetCreations must pay a breakup fee of more than $8.6 million should the two companies’ merger not go through. That fee will now have to be shouldered by NetCreations’ unnamed suitor.

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