US-based e-Rewards has made an indicative approach to online panel specialist Research Now, which may lead to an offer for the latter's entire share capital. The price would be not less than £4.30 in cash per share.
This would represent a premium of 30.3% to the closing price of £3.30 per share on 4 September; the last business day prior to e-Rewards' approach, and a premium of 46.7% to the average Research Now closing price of £2.93 per share for the 12 months ended 20 October 2009.
e-Rewards employs more than 300 staff at its offices in Dallas, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Paris. The firm hosts what it describes as 'the largest by-invitation online research panel', serving more than 900 research firms.
Earlier today, the Research Now Board said in a London Stock Exchange statement that the combination of the two businesses would bring significant benefits to clients and employees of both companies.
It added that due to the cash nature and value of the offer, it is in the interests of Research Now shareholders and other stakeholders to facilitate further discussions with e-Rewards.
The firm confirmed that while the announcement had been made with e-Rewards' approval, there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.
In July, Research Now reported a 24% increase in first half revenues to £23.6m (2008: £19.1m), and a 30% rise in gross profit to £18.5m (2008: £14.2m).
Web sites: www.e-rewardsresearch.com and www.researchnow.co.uk .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.