Microsoft To Acquire Online Survey Firm, Greenfield for $486 Million

Posted Aug 29, 2008

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced today that they will be acquiring Greenfield Online, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRVY) for roughly $486 million. Greenfield Online is an online survey company that collects opinions on products and services.

Greenfield is based in Wilton, Connecticut and also owns Ciao, a price comparison shopping website. Greenfield and Ciao will be integrated into Windows Live Search. Ciao has consumer reviews of books, DVDs, music, gadgets, mortgages, appliances, ISPs, etc. Ciao generates about 26.5 million unique visitors per month.

Microsoft will buy Greenfield through the purchase of all of Greenfield’s shares at $17.50 per share. Greenfield’s current stock price is $17.37 per share. Greenfield’s stock was at about $15.98 right before the announcement.

Greenfield has an Internet survey company that Microsoft intends to sell after the acqusition closes. Microsoft already found an unnamed buyer for the business. This is may have something to do with the news about Microsoft thinking of selling Avenue A/Razorfish to WPP.

Microsoft beat Quadrangle LLC to the acquisition of Greenfield. Quadrangle made an offer to acquire Greenfield at $15.50 per share. Greenfield published a press release stating that:
“Immediately prior to entry into the merger agreement with Microsoft it
had terminated its previously announced merger agreement with
affiliates of Quadrangle Group LLC.”

Greenfield will have to pay $5 million to kill the deal with Quadrangle.

Related Links:
1. Yahoo! Finance
2. Greenfield
3. Ciao