Will Google land On2?

Contact: Brenon Daly

At this rate, Google may never again go shopping on the public market. Its contentious reach for On2 Technologies, which has been bogged down for a half-year, will come to some kind of resolution after the close of the market today, with shareholders of the video compression software vendor set to vote on Google’s $136m offer. While Google has acquired nearly 50 companies in its history, the proposed purchase of Amex-listed On2 is the first time the search giant has bid for a public company.

When Google initially announced the planned purchase back in early August, it said it hoped to close the deal in the fourth quarter. (As an aside, we’d note that since the original announcement, Google has picked up six private companies, all of them without the drama that has surrounded the proposed On2 acquisition.) The target deadline came and went, and then in early January, Google said it was adding a cash kicker to its original all-equity bid for On2.

Google’s first offer of roughly $106m of its shares for On2 hadn’t drawn enough support from On2’s shareholders. So, the deep-pocketed buyer reached a bit deeper into its pockets to add a $26m all-cash sweetener. Google says the $136m bid is its ‘final’ offer. On2’s board of directors, as well as the three main proxy advisory firms, have all urged the vendor’s shareholders to vote for Google’s proposed purchase this afternoon.