Ad tech company Gravity4 has made a 564,700,000 kr ($US67.4 million) bid to acquire publicly traded rival Swedish company TradeDoubler.
The news is startling for a number of reasons:
- It comes exactly a week after another publicly traded ad tech company, Rocket Fuel, rejected a $US350 million takeover bid from Gravity4 saying it was “not credible.” At the time Gravity4 originally made its unsolicited offer, Rocket Fuel’s stock surged 18% in the pre-market and briefly stopped trading.
- $US67.4 million is quite a step down from the $US900 million AOL tried to acquire TradeDoubler for back in 2007.
- At the time of writing TradeDoubler’s stock had surged up 52%
- Just yesterday, The San Francisco Business Times reported that Gravity4’s CEO Gurbaksh Chahal was arrested last October for allegedly kicking a woman. This was after he was placed on probation in April 2014 after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in 2013.
Chahal has maintained his innocence in the first case and has said he only pleaded guilty to avoid a “witch hunt.” Neither Chahal or Gravity4 has responded to requests for comment about the second reported arrest.
TradeDoubler would not comment on the Gravity4 acquisition bid when contacted by Business Insider.
Gravity4 has announced that it board of directors has doubled its offer of 282,350,000 kr for publicly traded TradeDoubler AB headquartered in Sweden.
Gravity4 will purchase publicly traded TradeDoubler AB 282,350,000 kr (equivalent to 6.67 kr per share) in cash upon closing, additional to the equivalent of that amount in Gravity4 stock. This offer would value the full transaction at 564,700,000 kr (equivalent to 13.4 kr per share).
Chahal is the former founder and CEO of another ad tech company, RadiumOne. He was fired by his board after the domestic abuse accusations became public.
He once, unsuccessfully, tried to buy back his former company, but went on to start another: Gravity4. In the past nine months it has made nine acquisitions of small ad tech companies such as Triggit and, most recently , AdX Search. However, Business Insider understands those deals are modest, and mostly in stock.
Chahal claims his new company is valued at $US1 billion.
Meanwhile, Chahal and his company are being sued by Gravity4’s former SVP of global marketing Erika Alonso in relation to alleged gender and age discrimination — she also claims Chahal, then her boss, illegally spied on her during a job interview, and she noticed a “constant theme of revenge” directed toward Chahal’s previous company RadiumOne.
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