RealD shares jump after Starboard bids to take company private for $12 per share, or $540M

StocksAssociated Press

Shares of RealD climbed Thursday after activist investment firm Starboard Value offered to take the 3-D technology company private in a deal that values RealD at about $600 million.

Starboard owns a 9.9-percent stake in RealD and is offering to buy the rest of the company's stock for $12 per share. That's a 29-percent premium based on RealD's closing price on Wednesday. About 45 million shares are owned by other stockholders, so the acquisition would cost Starboard about $540 million.

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Beverly Hills, California-based RealD Inc. said it will review the offer. Its stock climbed $2.48, or 27 percent, to $11.75 in afternoon trading.

Starboard Value LP, the third-largest owner of RealD shares, said RealD will be in a better position as a private company and it may suffer because of a "challenged" release scheduled for 3-D movies.

RealD's revenue fell 8 percent in its last fiscal year, which ended March 31, and it has cut jobs to reduce costs.

The company's stock is up 36 percent over the last year but still below its 52-week high of $13.18, set in June.

Starboard seeks to change the strategy of companies across a range of industries. It is also seeking to take control of Darden Restaurants Inc., the parent of Olive Garden and other restaurants, and is trying to convince Yahoo Inc. to buy AOL Inc.