Alliance Data Systems Picks Up Conversant for $2.3 Billion

Acquired Company Was Formerly Known as Value Click.

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Alliance Data Systems Corp. agreed to buy Conversant Inc. for $2.3 billion, gaining technology to distribute advertising across the Internet and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Alliance Data will pay $35 a share for Conversant -- formerly known as ValueClick -- with 48% in cash and the rest in stock, according to a statement today. The transaction values Westlake Village, Calif.-based Conversant at about 10 times its expected adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization.

Conversant focuses on affiliate marketing, helping companies personalize ads and target users based on their previous Internet searches on mobile or desktop devices. The technology will be an extension of Alliance Data's loyalty-marketing services, such as private-label credit cards and airline-miles programs.

The acquisition will add 50 cents a share to earnings in the first year and 75 cents in the second, Plano, Texas-based Alliance Data said.

--Bloomberg News