Rocket Fuel's Stock Pares Gains After Gravity4 Gives Up Buyout Attempt

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Rocket Fuel Inc.'s stock was up 1.2% in midday trade Wednesday, but pared earlier gains of as much as 4.2%, after Gravity4 indicated it was giving up its attempt to buy the marketing technology company. Earlier, Rocket Fuel said it determined that Gravity4's $350 million cash buyout proposal it received on May 8 was "not credible." In response, Gravity4 founder and Chief Executive Gurbaksh Chahal wrote in a letter to Rocket Fuel Interim CEO Monte Zweben: "I wish you and Rocket Fuel the best as you continue to experience the fallout of losing customers, inventory, and talent. Meanwhile, while I remain open to a dialogue with you in the future, Gravity4 and its investor group will be focusing on other more fruitful initiatives and acquisitions for now." A Gravity4 spokesperson told MarketWatch that the company didn't own any Rocket Fuel shares. With 42.15 million shares outstanding, according to FactSet, Gravity4's buyout bid implied a per-share value of about $8.30 for Rocket Fuel, which was 14% above the May 7 closing price of $7.63. Rocket Fuel's stock has tumbled 42% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.2%.

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