DoubleClick Sold to Equity Firm for $1.1B

Following the purchase, the online advertising company will gain a new board and chairman, as its CEO plans to step down.

DoubleClick announced Monday that it is being acquired by a San Francisco-based private equity firm for $1.1 billion.

The leading online advertising provider expects the deal with Hellman & Friedman LLC to be closed in the third quarter. New York-based DoubleClick Inc. confirmed the buyout following reports last week that it was in talks to be sold.

Following the buyout, DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan will step down as the companys leader and a new board of directors and chairman will be selected.

DoubleClick, which was founded in 1996, sells tools and services to advertisers, Web publishers and enterprise marketers for managing online advertising, e-mail marketing and direct marketing.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read about how Google is expanding into the broader online advertising market.

During a discussion at the AD:TECH conference in San Francisco, panelists said that the DoubleClick buyout likely reflected the companys struggle to profit from a series of acquisitions in recent years. The company last week recorded a first-quarter loss of about $900,000.

"DoubleClick for a number of years had a very good business and a war chest of dollars [for acquisitions]," said Tony Conrad, an entrepreneur in residence at venture-capital firm Blacksmith Capital, in San Francisco. "[Some] acquisitions they did didnt pan out as well. This is a new group that will come in and try to orient business in a new way."

Under the terms of the agreement, DoubleClick stockholders will receive $8.50 in cash for each share of DoubleClick stock, which represents a 10.6 percent premium over the average closing price during the past 30 days. DoubleClicks board has approved the deal.

DoubleClick President David Rosenblatt will continue to oversee the TechSolutions division as its CEO, while President Brian Rainey will continue to lead the DataSolutions division as its CEO, DoubleClick announced.

Joining Hellman & Friedman in the investment is San Diego-based MI Equity, a venture capital firm focused on software and business services.

/zimages/3/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.