aQuantive Massive Buyout Premium (AQNT, MSFT)

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aQuantive Inc. (AQNT-NASDAQ) just recived a huge premium buyout by Microsoft (MSFT-NASDAQ).  This is one that was a 50/50 chance of happening via deductive reasoning after the Google (GOOG-NASDAQ) and after the WPP Group buyout of 24/7 Real Media (TFSM-NASDAQ) and after the Yahoo! (YHOO-NASDAQ) acquisition of a private Right Media.  So this only leaves ValueClick (VCLK-NASDAQ).

What is surprising is the premium: aQuantive is being acquired for roughly $6 Billion, or $66.50 per share.  This stock has never seen a price like that except back at the recombination price at the start of 2001.  Now if you have been a holder of AQNT you are guaranteed a huge profit. 

In all honesty this deal is not a surprise at all, but the price is very surprising since it is nearly a 90% premium.  Microsoft would have been able to have owned this one cheaper if they would have acted sooner.  Shares of ValueClick (VCLK) are trading up 17% pre-market at just under $33.00 as they are the last man standing independently, and that is above the $31.34 year-high.

Jon C. Ogg
May 18, 2007