Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Microsoft says Ciao to Greenfield's ISS business

It was less than two weeks ago that Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced the acquisition of Greenfield Online (NASDAQ: SRVY) with a cash tender for $17.50 per share.

The deal is set to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Microsoft had made it clear they would most likely sell Greenfield's ISS business while retaining their European Shopping comparison network Ciao GmbH, to bolster's offering in Europe.

This morning, Microsoft named the buyer.

ZM Capital LP, a private equity partnership with offices in New York and Los Angeles, will acquire the ISS portion of Greenfield and intends to continue operating it as a stand alone company.

The deal is subject to approvals and a 'financial contingency'.  It would be ZM Capital's initial investment and is being financed by a group including NewStar Financial, CIT, with Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s Structured Capital fund.