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Nielsen to acquire all of NetRatings

Nielsen Co. (formerly VNU) has agreed to acquire the 40% of NetRatings that is doesn't already own. Under the terms of the agreement announced last week, Nielsen will acquire the remaining shares of NetRatings at a price of $21 per share in a deal valued at about $327 million. The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes Internet audience measurement services, online advertising tools, demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis.

Prism completes Penton acquisition

Private equity firms MidOcean Partners and Wasserstein & Co. on Feb. 1 announced the completion of their acquisition of Penton Media and the simultaneous acquisition by MidOcean of 50% of the combined businesses of Prism Business Media and Penton Media. Prism won the auction to acquire Penton last November. The combined entity has taken the Penton Media name.

Pace of M &A deals hits six-year high

Bolstered by a healthy economy and modest interest rates, publishing, information and training companies last year posted the largest number of acquisitions since 2000, according to a report by&A advisory firm Whitestone Communications. There were 505 media deals in 2006 compared with 379 in 2005; that surpasses the 446 deals in 2001 but is still well below the 570 deals recorded during the dot.com frenzy in 2000, the report said. The value of last year's deals was up 47% to $27.3 billion, from $18.6 billion in 2005.

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