Web Polls Outfit ToLuna Gets £161 Million Private Buy-Out Offer

Online polling outfit ToLuna has received a buy-out offer from its third-largest shareholder that would take it off the public market.

Belgian investing vehicle Verlinvest has formed ITWP Acquisitions to do the deal and has offered a 320p-per-share price – more than 30 percent higher than ToLuna’s Friday closing price in London, valuing it at £161 million. ToLuna’s main owners – which are Eurovestech, Invesco and company directors – have indicated they will vote in favour of the bid.

ToLuna’s founder and CEO Frédéric-Charles Petit emailed stakeholders Monday afternoon to say: “It will provide us with the stability of a solid financial backer and significant investment that will help drive our future growth and success.

“At ITWP’s request, I will remain with the company in my current role as CEO, a position in which I am delighted to continue. I am also maintaining my equity in Toluna, in keeping with my belief in and dedication to our company.”

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) sold its online surveys company Greenfield Online to ToLuna back in 2009 for $40 million.

ToLuna sells as information the responses given by a panel of four million active members in 34 countries.