Primedia to Buy About.com in $690M Stock Deal

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Primedia Inc., New York, yesterday announced plans to buy Internet content provider About.com in a stock swap valued at $690 million. The deal seeks to combine Primedia's offline consumer and trade magazine publishing business with About.com's online network of 700-plus topic sites.


As part of the deal, Primedia would swap 45.2 million of its shares for 18.1 million About.com shares, translating to approximately 2.34 Primedia shares for each About.com share. Primedia's most recent closing price, on Friday, was $15.25. At this rate, Primedia would pay $35.70 per About.com share, a 50 percent premium over Friday's close but a significantly lower purchase price than About.com's 52-week high of $105.81.


Primedia publishes major consumer titles such as Seventeen and New York magazines and niche trade titles such as Catalog Age and Circulation Management. About.com operates a network of more than 700 topic sites, organized into 36 areas and 50,000 subjects.


Scott Kurnit, About.com's founder/CEO, would retain those titles and report to Primedia chairman/CEO Tom Rogers. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2001.
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