UPDATE 2-Greenfield:Latest buyout offer better than Quadrangle's

martedì 26 agosto 2008 19:08
 

(Adds analyst comments; updates share movement)

BANGALORE Aug 26 (Reuters) - Web-based online survey company Greenfield Online Inc SRVY.O said a $17.50-per-share offer from an unnamed buyer was superior to a prior bid from media-focused U.S. buyout firm Quadrangle Group LLC.

Greenfield set Quadrangle a Aug. 29 deadline to trump the latest offer, failing which Greenfield will be entitled to end the deal it made with the firm.

In June Greenfield said it would be bought by Quadrangle Group for $15.50 a share. Earlier this month the unnamed buyer bettered that offer by $2 a share.

The superior takeover offer from what Greenfield described as a "Fortune 100 strategic buyer" is not contingent on the receipt of financing.

Mark May of Needham & Co believes the unnamed buyer is either Time Warner (TWX.N: Quotazione), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quotazione), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: Quotazione) or News Corp NWSa.N.

May does not expect Quadrangle to raise its bid, and said it is likely that Greenfield will complete a deal with the strategic buyer.

Greenfield and Quadrangle declined to comment.

Needham's May maintained his "hold" rating on shares of Greenfield, which through its websites collects and sells consumer opinions to marketing research firms and end users.

Greenfield said Quadrangle will get a $5 million termination fee if the merger deal fell through.

Shares of Wilton, Connecticut-based Greenfield were up 7.7 percent at $17.21 in afternoon trade on Nasdaq. They had touched a 52-week high of $17.44 on Aug. 13. (Reporting by Savio D'Souza; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Pratish Narayanan)