Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint advises Research Now on cash offer

Following the announcement to the market on Wednesday 21 October by Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint's client Research Now plc that it had received an indicative offer from e-Rewards, Inc., e-Rewards (through a newly formed entity, e-Rewards Bidco Limited) announced on Friday 23 October the terms of a recommended £85.1m cash offer for Research Now.

Research Now is one of the leading international online fieldwork and panel specialists to the global market research industry and some of the world's best known companies. The company undertakes fieldwork online through its "Valued Opinions" family of 36 online panels across Europe, North and Latin America and Asia Pacific, comprising more than two million potential respondents globally.

e-Rewards was formed in 1999 and named in 2009 by Inc. magazine as one of America's fastest growing companies. It is based in Dallas, Texas, and is the world's largest "by invitation only" online research panel and employs more than 300 professionals located in Dallas, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Paris and Frankfurt.

The boards of e-Rewards and Research Now believe that a combination of their businesses will create a world leading online data collection and panel provider, bringing significant benefits to clients and employees of both companies.

The offer price of 430p per share represents a premium of:

  • 30.3 per cent. premium to the closing price of 330p on 4 September 2009, being the last business day prior to the receipt of e-Rewards' indicative offer letter, which formed the basis for the offer; and
  • 46.7 per cent. premium to the average closing price of 293p for the 12 months ended 20 October 2009, being the last business day prior to the date that Research Now announced it was in talks with e-Rewards.

The offer price represents a multiple of 3.3x the price at which the company IPO'd in 2005. The transaction is to be effected by way of a scheme of arrangement and Research Now shareholders representing 69.5 per cent. of the issued share capital of Research Now have given irrevocable undertakings or letters of intent to vote in favour of the transaction.

Canaccord Genuity Hawkpoint acted as sole financial adviser to Research Now.

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