Taking a break from its pursuit of the former Tribune Publishing, USA Today publisher Gannett (GCI) said after the close of trading Monday that it would buy digital marketing services company ReachLocal (RLOC) for $156 million.
Gannett would pay $4.60 per share in cash, a nearly 190% premium to ReachLocal's close on Friday.
Shares of the Woodland Hills, Calif., target were up $2.83, or 167.6%, to $4.52 in after-hours trading on Monday. Gannett shares were up 0.9% to $13.75.
ReachLocal provides digital marketing, advertising and related services to 16,000 customers in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Gannett President and CEO Robert Dickey in a statement said ReachLocal generates more than $320 million in yearly digital sales, which would boost the buyer's digital revenue by 50%.
While the deal for ReachLocal would enhance Gannett's online capabilities, the McLean, Va., publisher also has demonstrated a continued interest in print and online news. Earlier in June, Gannett reiterated that its $15 per share bid for tronc (TRNC) , the publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other properties, remains open. The deal values tronc, which stands for Tribune Online Content, at more than $860 million including debt.
A sizable minority of Tribune Publishing shareholders voted against the publisher's directors at the company's June annual meeting, suggesting support for Gannett's bid. Large shareholder Oaktree Capital disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would sell for $15 per share.
ReachLocal generated $2.84 million in Ebitda in fiscal 2015, up from an Ebitda loss of $9.4 million in 2014. While the company grew more profitable, its revenue declined from nearly $475 million in fiscal 2014 to $383 million last year.
Gannett expected to close the purchase of ReachLocal in the third quarter.
If ReachLocal terminated the deal or its board changed its recommendation, the target could have to pay Gannett a $5.3 million termination fee.
Regarding Tribune, Gannett said earlier in June that it would keep its eye on the publisher and evaluate the target's second-quarter earnings report in August.
Raine Group advised Gannett, which retained Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom lawyers including Katherine Ashley, Jose Morales, Elisabeth Kent, Jessica Hough and Stuart Levi.
ReachLocal retained Greenhill and Latham & Watkins lawyers Christopher L. Kaufman, Bradley Helms, Jordan Miller and Michael Montgomery. --David Marcus contributed to this report.