New York—The New York Times Co. announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire About.com from Primedia for about $410 million in cash. For the New York Times, the deal adds to its digital properties and diversifies its advertising base, particularly in the cost-per-click arena. The New York Times paid an estimated 23 times About.com’s expected 2005 EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). Primedia paid $690 million in an all-stock deal for About.com in 2001. "The sale of About.com is a material deleveraging transaction that significantly strengthens Primedia’s balance sheet," Kelly P. Conlin, president-CEO of Primedia, said in a statement. "Because About.com is completely distinct from Primedia’s other Web sites, its sale enables us to further focus on growing the online extensions of our outstanding portfolio of targeted brands reaching highly engaged, high-value audiences."