FastClick Deals Saves Investors

FastClick Inc. (Nasdaq: FSTC) is about to experience its third major ownership change in the past year, after agreeing to be acquired by rival online advertising company ValueClick Inc. in a $214 million stock swap.

The move is viewed as a savior for VC shareholders Highland Capital Partners and Oak Investment Partners. The investors had watched FastClick’s stock price sink steadily since launching its initial public offering in April 2005.

Highland and Oak became involved with FastClick in September 2004, when they co-led a $75 million Series A round that provided liquidity for angel investors and company founders.

The deal involved the sale of more than 2.1 million shares of preferred stock at $35.19 per share, in exchange for a 77.1% stake (Highland and Oak each received a 36% share, while 5.1% was granted to fellow participant Steamboat Ventures, the corporate venture arm of the Walt Disney Co.).

Each preferred share would later convert into five common shares – or about $7.04 per common share – as part of an April IPO in which FastClick raised $78 million, or roughly the same amount that Oak and Highland invested.

FastClick’s IPO priced at the low end of its $12 to $14 range, and then the stock price slowly dipped in the aftermarket.

It reached a $7.30 nadir on June 1. It was trading at $8.85 as of market close on Aug. 10.

The ValueClick acquisition announcement came on Aug. 11, and will result in FastClick backers receiving about 0.79 ValueClick common shares for each outstanding FastClick share. This works out to a price of $10.11 per FastClick share as of the announcement, but the stock has since risen to $10.86 as of market close last Thursday.

Highland, Oak and Steamboat will tender their shares on Sept. 27, when their lock-up agreements expire.