Founder Gurbaksh Chahal isn’t giving up on his efforts to acquire RadiumOne, the ad-tech company that fired him last year.
Back in April, Chahal was ousted from his role as CEO after he pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of battery and domestic violence battery, leading to intense criticism of the company. RadiumOne and Chahal later issued a joint statement saying that they had resolved their differences.
Then, last month, Chahal made an offer to buy the company for an undisclosed price, and while RadiumOne said it would take the offer to its board of directors, it also responded that “RadiumOne is not for sale” and described the offered price as one that “fails to reflect the value that has been built in the company.”
But as I said, Chahal isn’t giving up. I’ve obtained a copy of a subsequent letter in which he raises his offer by 25 percent. My copy doesn’t include the price, but the source who gave it to me said it’s in the nine figures. (Re/code heard that the initial offer was for just over $400 million. If that’s true, the subsequent offer would add $100 million.)
The letter also claims that, despite RadiumOne’s statement, the company is actually having discussions with investment bankers to prepare for a sale. Before the controversy, it had also been considering an IPO.
I emailed RadiumOne for comment earlier this afternoon but haven’t heard back. I’ll update this post if I do.
Chahal, meanwhile, declined to comment on the letter, but he noted that his new company, Gravity4, just announced the acquisition of sales software company Zurmo.
Gravity4’s broader strategy, he said, is to make a bunch of acquisitions and create an “enterprise app center” of tools that it provides free to advertisers. He argued that this model has bigger opportunities for growth than the traditional subscription software model: “That puts us in the category of giving away software to improve marketing — that’s the big vision.”
In fact, Gravity4 says Zurmo is its sixth acquisition since it was founded last year, although it’s not disclosing the others since they’ve already been rebranded as Gravity4 apps (just as Zurmo will be renamed CRM.me). And Chahal said he’s definitely planning to round out that strategy with more acquisitions. (Not that he’s only focused on free software and acquisitions — the company’s stated goal is to bring together all the tools a marketer needs to reach consumers across platforms and throughout the purchase process.)
I guess we’ll have to wait to see if RadiumOne ends up being part of that roll up.