Activist Investor Among Angie's List Board Additions

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The company's headquarters is on the near-east side of Indianapolis. The company's headquarters is on the near-east side of Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS -

One of the largest shareholders of Indianapolis-based Angie's List Inc. (NYSE: ANGI) has been added to the company's board. The agreement with TCS Capital Management LLC and its founder, Eric Semler, also opens up the investment group to potentially add another 12.75 percent of outstanding shares of Angie's List. Semler and TCS Capital have previously pushed for Angie's List to accept a buyout offer from the New York-based parent company of a competitor.

The offer was valued at around $512 million in cash. In November, the Angie's List board and leadership rebuffed the proposal and issued a statement saying InterActiveCorp's (Nasdaq: IACI) $8.75 per share bid "dramatically undervalues the company and its long-term standalone prospects." IAC owns Colorado-based HomeAdvisor, which recently opened an office in downtown Indianapolis.

TCS Capital and Semler currently have a nearly 11 percent stake in Angie's List. In a letter to the Angie's List board shortly after it turned down IAC, Semler, who was offered a seat on Angie's List's board, urged the online home services marketplace provider to accept a deal with IAC. He said, in part, "your offer of one Board seat for me seems futile in light of the Board's demand for onerous standstill provisions and its refusal to explore whether shareholder value can be maximized in a negotiated transaction. It is difficult to understand why the Board is determined to ignore IAC and shareholder demands for a sale in favor of making a risky bet on the Company's new CEO and his unformed, so-called 'Profitable Growth Plan.' Furthermore, the Board is being short-sighted in putting undue faith in the new LeadFeed product, which was launched only two weeks ago."

Scott Durchslag took over in September as Angie's List president and chief executive officer. Just last week, the company announced its first-ever profitable year and in a call with investors, Durchslag expressed optimism about the future.

The Angie's List board now has 11 members. In addition to Semler, George Bell and Tom Evans are now part of the expanded group. Both are media and technology industry veterans. As part of the agreement, Angie's List also announced that John Biddinger, a member of the board for 10 years, has retired.

The company will detail more guidance for the future during its Investor Day presentation, which is set for Thursday.

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