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Active Network to Be Acquired by Vista for $1.05 Billion

Active Network Inc., a company that manages online registration for marathons, business conferences and other events, agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners for about $1.05 billion in cash.

Vista will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of San Diego-based Active’s common stock for $14.50 a share, according to a statement today. That represents a 27 percent premium over the closing price on Sept. 27, the most recent trading day. Active’s board endorsed the offer, recommending that all stockholders tender their shares.

The takeover follows a management shakeup in May, when Chief Executive Officer Matthew Landa and Chairman David Alberga resigned their positions, though they remained on the board. Today’s deal allows Active to go private and revamp the company before returning to public markets, said Andre Sequin, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in New York.

“There’s an opportunity to clean it up away from the public eye,” Sequin said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Active as a public company again in about five years.”

Active’s stock soared 26 percent to $14.31 at the close in New York. Under the terms of the deal, any shares not tendered will be acquired in a second-step merger at the same cash price as the original offer.

Time to Execute

“The partnership with Vista will position us to execute on our strategy and further enhance our industry leadership,” Jon Belmonte, Active’s interim CEO, said in the statement. “For our customers, we will continue to focus on delivering the strongest product offerings through our advanced technology platform.”

Active expects the deal to close before the end of the fourth quarter, according to the statement.

The company, whose customers range from the state of California to Cisco Systems Inc., had attracted interest from other buyout firms before agreeing to the Vista deal. The company was originally expected to fetch as much as $770 million, a person familiar with the situation said. The shares had already more than doubled this year before today on takeover speculation.

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