RealTime IT News

VNU to Buy Miller Freeman USA for $650 Million

[London, ENGLAND] European publishing company VNU has agreed to acquire conference organizer Miller Freeman USA from United News & Media for $650 million. The sale excludes the CMP Media division of Miller-Freeman which publishes the Web sites IT Planet and TechWeb.

United's divestment of Miller Freeman USA is part of its efforts to re-focus its portfolio in preparation for the proposed merger with Carlton Communications.

Clive Hollick, chief executive of United said his company wished Miller Freeman every success with its new owners.

"The sale is a huge step forward in United's program of focusing on its core markets where we can drive for market leadership," said Hollick.

Miller Freeman organizes trade shows in five vertical market areas: sports and apparel, jewelry, gifts and merchandize, real estate, travel, and Latin America. It also publishes many business magazines and runs online businesses serving English and Spanish-language markets.

VNU will meet 25 percent of the cost of the acquisition from cash resources, financing the remainder with an equity offering in the fall.

Rob van den Bergh, chairman and chief executive of VNU, said the acquisition was a perfect fit with VNU's strategy to concentrate in specific business media markets with an integrated approach to media through print, in person and online.

VNU's portfolio of publications includes 73 trade publications in the United States, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and AdWeek. VNU is a partner with internet.com Corp. for creating and managing Web sites in England, France, Germany, Spain and Latin America.

The acquisition of Miller Freeman USA will greatly strengthen VNU's position as a business-to-business media company by creating synergies between Miller Freeman's trade shows and its own publications.