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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

Register.com Inc has received an unsolicited offer of almost $200m to buy the company outright, but has yet to make a public decision on whether shareholders should accept the offer, it emerged yesterday.

RCM Acquisition Co LLC, a consortium of several Register shareholders set up specifically to launch the bid and apparently led by Barington Companies Equity Partners, said it presented the board of directors with a cash offer of $4.95 per share.

The consortium, which said it controls 4.2% of Register, said the offer represents an 8.3% premium on Tuesday's closing share price and a 24.9% premium on the average closing price over the last 90 days.

The wannabe buyer also wants to replace the entire board of directors with seven people of its own choosing at the company's annual general meeting, it said.

James Mitarotonda, CEO of the General Partner of Barington said: "It is our opinion that Register.com is an undervalued and underperforming company. We believe that, among other things, this all-cash transaction will provide the company's shareholders with immediate liquidity at a premium to the current market price."

Spokespeople for Register.com could not reached for comment, and the firm made no statement yesterday as to whether it supports the offer or not.

However, the firm introduced a shareholder rights plan in October specifically to better negotiate such an unsolicited offer. The poison pill plan calls for new shares to be issued if an unsolicited takeover is attempted and the buyer has 15% of the outstanding shares.

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