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.

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