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Dealership advertising firm AutoWeb Inc., after elevating doubts this spring about its capability to proceed as a going concern, mentioned Monday it has agreed to be acquired by One Planet Group, a self-described hybrid expertise agency run by one of many founders of AutoWeb.

One Planet Group can pay AutoWeb shareholders 39 cents per share, based on a regulatory submitting containing the transaction settlement. The submitting does not state AutoWeb’s full buy value, however says the corporate has simply over 14 million shares excellent. That may translate to a purchase order value of almost $5.5 million.

AutoWeb CEO Jared Rowe, 48, will go away the enterprise after the transaction closes and might be paid $1.75 million in installments, with cost due on March 15. One Planet Group CEO Payam Zamani, 51, will change him, based on a press launch. Tampa, Florida-based AutoWeb mentioned it anticipated the deal to shut on September 16.

“Not many founders get the chance to return to an organization they helped create,” Zamani mentioned in a press release. “AutoWeb has pioneered the web automotive business and, in some ways, immediately influenced its evolution. Now’s the time for the corporate to bear an evolution to arrange for the challenges and alternatives within the automotive business of tomorrow.”

Zamani beforehand mentioned automotive information that he and his brother Frank co-founded AutoWeb, a web-based car-buying service, in 1994. Zamani, in an electronic mail to automotive informationHe declined to remark additional on the deal.

AutoWeb’s historical past is intertwined with that of Autobytel Inc., one other on-line car-buying firm from the Nineties.

Pete Ellis based Autobytel, which had its preliminary public providing in March 1999. In 2015, Autobytel acquired AutoWeb for its analytics capabilities. In 2017, Autobytel modified its company identify to AutoWeb and its inventory code from “ABTL” to “AUTO”.

In Might, AutoWeb introduced that its board of administrators would discover strategic alternate options for the corporate, together with a doable sale or restructuring, as a result of there have been “substantial doubts” about its capability to proceed as a going concern.

On the time, AutoWeb mentioned its money and liquidity scenario led administration to make that dedication after the corporate posted a $4.3 million internet loss within the first quarter. A particular board committee was created to guage alternate options for the corporate, together with acquiring new debt or fairness financing; promote the enterprise or property; and restructuring, together with by way of federal chapter safety.

The board committee advisable the acquisition by One Planet Group, and AutoWeb’s board of administrators accredited the transaction, based on the press launch.

The acquisition will take the type of a two-step merger. One Planet Group will first problem a public providing of issued and excellent AutoWeb shares. That might be supplied on August 1, based on the discharge.

The corporate will then transfer ahead with the second step, during which the shares of AutoWeb that weren’t supplied within the tender supply “can be transformed into the proper to obtain the identical money value per share because the shareholders who tendered within the tender supply.” “.

AutoWeb shares fell 14 p.c at 38 cents on the shut of enterprise Monday at 4 pm.

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