DoubleClick, NetGravity in $530 million merger

DoubleClick, the Web banner advertising broker that is licensed here by Webmasters Ad Network, has agreed to merge with NetGravity, a company that specialises in advertising and direct-marketing software. The all-stock deal is valued at $US530 million.

DoubleClick, the Web banner advertising broker that is licensed here by Webmasters Ad Network, has agreed to merge with NetGravity, a company that specialises in advertising and direct-marketing software.

The all-stock deal is valued at $US530 million, according to a statement issued by the two companies. The two companies have signed a definitive merger agreement, they said.

DoubleClick will issue .28 shares of DoubleClick common stock for every share of NetGravity common stock, the companies said. The exchange ratio represents a share price of $26.32 for NetGravity stock, giving it a 26 percent premium over the company's 30-day average share price as of closing yesterday, the statement said. The deal, if approved by regulators, will be completed by early in the fourth quarter of this calendar year.

The merger, coupled with last month's purchase of Abacus Direct, will strengthen DoubleClick's ability to target Web advertising, said the company. Doubleclick merged with the direct-targeting data company in a bid to learn how to better target buyers.

NetGravity's client list includes E*Trade Group, Financial Times Group, Nikkei News, IBM, @Home Network and Time. DoubleClick's many Web-based clients include the AltaVista search site, which renewed a three-year contract with it in January, and, via Webmasters Ad network, Clear IBM and Telecom Xtra.

NetGravity can be found at http://www.netgravity.com. DoubleClick can be found on the Web at http://www.doubleclick.com.

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