RealNetworks Founder/CEO Robert Glaser Seeks To Buy Up All Outstanding Shares

Zinger Key Points
  • Glaser offered no explanation for his actions.
  • The company has a shaky first-quarter earnings report.

RealNetworks Inc RNWK, a Seattle-based provider of artificial intelligence-based software and solutions, announced it received an unsolicited, non-binding proposal from Robert Glaser, the company’s founder, chairman and CEO, to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock not currently owned by Glaser and his affiliates at a purchase price of 67 cents per share in cash.

What Happened: Glaser was a Microsoft Corporation MSFT executive before he founded RealNetworks (originally Progressive Networks) in 1994. The company was a pioneer in the streaming media sector and broadcast one of the first Internet-based audio events: a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners on Sept. 5, 1995.

Glaser and his affiliates currently own approximately 38% of the outstanding shares of RealNetworks stock.

"While this offer initiates a process that will unfold over a period of time, we want to assure all of our agents and clients that business will continue as usual, and we expect there to be no change in the products, services, or support we provide," said Glaser in a press statement.

Glaser did not give an explanation regarding why is pursuing this strategy, but a clue might have been dropped last week during RealNetworks’ first-quarter earnings call.

“Our total revenue in the quarter was $13.3 million, down from $15.9 million in the first quarter of 2021 and essentially flat compared with Q4 of 2021,” said Glaser during the earnings call. “Our earnings per diluted share was a loss of 11 cents compared to a loss of 27 cents per diluted share in the prior period. First-quarter adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $2.8 million compared to an adjusted EBITDA loss of $3 million in the prior-year period. We continue to have a solid balance sheet with $22 million of cash available to us and no debt.”

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What Happens Next: In the same press statement, RealNetworks said its board of directors appointed an independent special committee to “carefully review and evaluate Mr. Glaser's proposal and other available alternatives.”

The company added that it did not intend to “disclose developments regarding this process unless and until the special committee and RealNetworks' board of directors have approved a specific transaction or otherwise concluded its review of strategic alternatives.”

Trading Action: At last check Monday morning, RealNetworks shares were trading up 16.11% at 54 cents; the company's 52-week trading range is 46 cents to $2.80.

Photo: Bfishshadow / Flickr Creative Commons

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