Yahoo Inc has bought online advertising firm Interclick Inc for $270 million. At the time of the purchase, Interclick had a market cap of $221.43 million, which means that Yahoo paid about a 20 percent premium on the market value of the company.
According to the Web site, Interclick depends on a proprietary technology called Open Segment Manager (OSM) that analyzes data across several sites to determine the value of ads placed in that arena. It's a data-driven ad network that tries to connect companies with specific demographics. The technology is made specifically to handle a large volume of data across multiple sites.
Interclick's innovative platform will allow Yahoo to expand its targeting and data capabilities to deliver campaigns with stronger performance metrics, said Yahoo's EVP of the Americas region Ross Levinsohn in a press release.
This is one of the first major moves made by Yahoo after it fired CEO Carol Bartz in early September. Upon announcing Bartz's firing, the company said it would begin a CEO search and strategic review. The purchase of Interclick can be seen as the first major part of its strategic review, and it reiterates a point that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said in a Bloomberg report: The company is not necessarily on the block.
Still, several private equity firms are rumored to be interested in purchasing Yahoo including KKR & Co., Blackstone Group LP, Silver Lake, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Digital Sky Technologies. Most of the potential deals would be a joint effort between two or more private equity firms. Yahoo's current market cap is $18.81 billion, which makes it a massive undertaking for just about any potential suitor.
Microsoft doubled that value in an unsolicited bid for $44 billion in 2008. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who led the charge in the hostile takeover of Yahoo, said in his appearance at Web 2.0 Summit, Times change. Times change.
You ask any CEO who might have bought something before the market crashed, in 2008, and you ask, 'are you glad that you didn't buy something... said Ballmer as he laughed at the idea of the Yahoo bid. Sometimes you're lucky in this life.
Although the acquisition of Interclick makes Yahoo more competitive in a data-driven market, it seems that the company is still far from stable. Yahoo board member David Kenny, who was rumored to be the top CEO candidate for the company, has announced that he's not interested in the job. This leaves the company looking for a viable CEO candidate while trying to fend off takeover offers from several sources. Exactly how the acquisition of Interlick will impact the company -- or whether it will at all -- is yet to be seen. For now, Yahoo, the company that started as a web portal in the mid-90s, is left playing catch up in a rapidly changing marketplace.