Sizmek Acquires Ad Tech Rival Rocket Fuel for $125.5 Million

Advertising technology vendor Sizmek has announced its planned acquisition of fellow ad-tech industry player Rocket Fuel Inc. (FUEL). The $125.5 million deal will take Rocket Fuel private after just a few years on the public market, and values the company at $2.60 per share, or approximately $145 million including the assumption of debt. The deal includes a 30-day “go-shop” period, allowing the Redwood City, Calif.-based company to solicit and potentially enter into alternative proposals from third parties.

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The buyout comes at a rough time for beaten-down Rocket Fuel, as its shares closed at $2.70 on Tuesday compared to its high of $62.50 reached on its first day of trading. The tech startup’s co-founder George John stepped down as CEO in 2015, eventually to be replaced by current CEO Randy Wootton.

“The board unanimously approved this transaction and we encourage our stockholders to follow that recommendation and tender their shares,” said Wootton in an email.

Sizmek, which offers its enterprise clients tools for buying and targeting ads and for optimizing the content of its ads, was bought by private equity firm Vector Capital last year. The firm will integrate Rock Fuel’s product which uses artificial intelligence for ad optimization.

“The acquisition of Rocket Fuel brings omni-channel creativity and AI-enabled decisioning together under one roof, providing our clients with a self-service predictive marketing platform that optimizes campaigns across the entire media plan,” stated Sizmek Executive Chairman Mark Grether in a press release.