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Active Network Buyout Ends Wild Post-IPO Ride

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Active Network (ACTV) is being sold to private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners for $14.50 a share, or about $1.05 billion, in a deal that may end a wild ride for the cloud computing application specialist since its 2011 initial public offering.

Active Network's announced takeover comes in below the company's desired 2011 initial public offering price. However, it is more than three times higher than the company's 2013 share price lows amid poor earnings results and soft financial guidance that put the company in a tenuous financial position.

Management change also pressured Active Network shares. CEO Matt Landa and Chairman David Alberga both resigned in May, leading to the appointment of current interim CEO Jon Belmonte, an executive with private equity and consulting experience.

Monday's sale to Vista Equity Partners, much like Zipcar's 2012 sale to Avis (CAR), however, could lock in a takeover price that is in line with its initial public offering valuation. The company priced its IPO at $15 a share in May 2011.

"This announcement represents a very positive event for our stockholders and allows ACTIVE to build on its success to date," Belmonte said in a statement. "We believe the partnership with Vista will position us to execute on our strategy and further enhance our industry leadership," he added.

Active Network's board unanimously recommended the transaction, which comes at about a 27% premium to Friday's close and an 11% premium to the company's average 2013 trading price

The company's offering of applications and cloud solutions help firms manage online event registrations as well as communications. Vista Equity Partners is a private-equity firm specialized in software, data and technology-enabled business investments.

Citigroup and the law firm DLA Piper advised Active Network. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis advised Vista Equity. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets and BMO Capital Markets have agreed to provide debt financing in connection with the transaction.

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York.

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