Rocket Fuel’s board rejects 'unsolicited' takeover proposal

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 2 September 2015

Programmatic marketing platform provider Rocket Fuel was dragged into the limelight earlier this week after Gravity4 made a takeover offer for the business, which Rocket Fuel says was not credible.

Gravity4, a private San Francisco marketing cloud business, run locally by ex-MediaCom chief digital officer, Joshua Rex, and created by RadiumOne founder Gurbaksh Chahal, made an offer of about US $260 million – which is nearly $100 million less than a previous takeover bid it put in back in May this year.

NASDAQ-listed Rocket Fuel, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise marketing ROI for global agencies and enterprise marketers, was quick to confirm it has received and rejected an “unsolicited, conditional proposal” from Gravity4 to acquire Rocket Fuel.

Rocket Fuel board of directors, in consultation with its independent advisors, said it evaluated the proposal and concluded that it was “highly conditional and inconsistent with customary public company transactions” and was simply was not credible.

Within Rocket Fuel's response letter to Gravity4, it said: “We are in receipt of your letter dated August 30, 2015 regarding your unsolicited proposal to acquire Rocket Fuel. The Proposal is identical, except for the date and proposed “purchase price”, to Gravity4’s May 7, 2015 proposal to Rocket Fuel.

“Our board of directors evaluated the May 7, 2015 proposal with its independent advisors and concluded at that time that the highly conditional and non-customary nature of the proposal did not constitute a credible offer. Rocket Fuel’s board of directors has reviewed your August 30th Proposal in consultation with its independent advisors, and concluded that the highly conditional and non-customary nature of the August 30th Proposal does not constitute a credible offer.”

A spokesman from Gravity4 said: "Gravity4 will continue to acquire companies as our acquisition strategy continues”.

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