Sizmek will acquire Rocket Fuel for adtech consolidation

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After a rocky few years as a public company, Rocket Fuel is going private again.

Adtech company Sizmek announced this morning that it’s agreed to acquire Rocket Fuel for $2.60 per share, in a deal that values the company at $145 million. (That number includes the assumption of Rocket Fuel’s debt — the purchase price is $125 million if you look at shares alone.)

Rocket Fuel came out strong after its IPO in 2013, with its share price going as high as $62.50 on its first day of trading. But it’s fallen hard since then — the stock closed at $2.69 per share yesterday. Co-founder George John stepped down as CEO in 2015, and he was eventually replaced by current CEO Randy Wootton.

The company says it uses artificial intelligence to optimize ad campaigns. As for Sizmek, it offers tools for buying and targeting ads, and for optimizing the content of those ads. It was actually acquired by private equity firm Vector Capital last year.

“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,” said Sizmek Executive Chairman Mark Grether in the announcement.

While the Rocket Fuel board has approved the deal, the company will also have a 30-day period to solicit other buyers.