NetRatings Eyes Europe With NetValue Buy

Web measurement firm NetRatings continued its acquisition spree, reaching an agreement to purchase NetValue, a French Internet-measurement company, for about $17.7 million in cash and stock.

The deal will bring to NetRatings a Web measurement network in nine European and Asian countries, with a measurement panel of 200,000 and a client list of 130. This will serve to buff up NetRatings’ international measurement business, building on the client base NetRatings gained through its previous deals for Jupiter Media Metrix’s European business and ACNielsen’s eRatings.

“We are excited about bringing NetValue’s unique strengths into the NetRatings family, and will incorporate some of their industry-leading technologies across our services globally,” said William Pulver, NetRating’ CEO and chairman, in a statement.

The deal calls for NetRatings to pay approximately 2 euros for 4.6 million NetValue shares, giving the Milpitas, Calif., company a 52 percent stake. The deal calls for 80 percent of the purchase price to come in cash and the rest in NetRatings’ shares. The companies expect the transaction to close by Aug. 12. NetRatings said it then plans to extend a tender offer for NetValue’s remaining shares to pay 2 euros in cash for the remaining shares. The company pegs the value of the transaction at 18.1 million euros, or $17.7 million.

With the Web measurement market dwindling, NetRatings has been frisky on the acquisitions front. After its proposed $71.2 million merger with Jupiter Media Metrix fell through under regulatory scrutiny in February, NetRatings later scooped up its European measurement business and patents for measuring Web audiences.

In February, NetRatings bought eRatings from ACNielsen for $9.6 million in stock. Two months later, with one-time fierce rival Jupiter Media Metrix teetering, NetRatings stepped in to buy its AdRelevance unit for $8.5 million. Finally, in May, NetRatings inked an $18.5 million cash-and-stock deal to acquire DoubleClick’s ad-research unit, @Plan.

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