DoubleClick to Buy NetGravity for $530M

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No. 1 online ad network DoubleClick Inc. on Tuesday signed a definitive $530 million agreement to purchase NetGravity Inc., the leading provider of software for managing online direct marketing and advertising.


DoubleClick, New York, has moved aggressively in the online ad space of late. The planned acquisition follows quickly on DoubleClick's June announcement that it plans a $1 billion purchase of Abacus Direct Corp., the manager of the largest database of consumer catalog buying habits in the United States. That transaction is slated to close in the third quarter.


NetGravity, San Mateo, CA, makes AdServer, software that helps Web sites manage the ads in their pages and assists with reporting and analysis. The firm has high-profile clients, including the Associated Press, E*Trade, Ticketmaster, MTV Interactive and USA Today.


After the acquisition DoubleClick will be able to offer NetGravity's software in addition to its own Dart ad delivery product.


The companies touted the $530 million price tag as a generous premium on NetGravity's 30-day average stock price, but it did not mark an especially high valuation on NetGravity's July trading range. The deal came out to roughly $26.32 a share, and NetGravity fell 2, or 7.27 percent, to 25 _ Tuesday.


DoubleClick shares rose 2 _, or 2.66 percent, to 96 _.


Neither company is profitable, though DoubleClick has said it expects to move into the black before the 2000 fourth quarter. The NetGravity transaction, expected to close in the 1999 fourth quarter, is subject to regulatory and stockholder approval.
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