DoubleClick bought for $1.1B

Two equity firms are behind the deal, expected to close in Q3

Two U.S. private equity firms have agreed to buy online advertising company DoubleClick Inc. for $1.1 billion, DoubleClick announced today.

The firms, Hellman and Friedman LLC in San Francisco and JMI Equity in San Diego, expect to complete the deal in the third quarter, DoubleClick said. JMI Equity, which focuses on the software and business service industries, will hold a minority interest.

Representatives from DoubleClick and Hellman and Friedman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Hellman and Friedman sees the acquisition of New York-based DoubleClick as an opportunity to extend its online advertising and marketing and data businesses, in part though the recognizable DoubleClick brand as well as by utilizing its experienced staff, the company said in the announcement.

DoubleClick stockholders will receive $8.50 for each share of common stock. The company's board of directors has approved the deal, which is still subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions.

The company's core business is serving ads to Web sites, a market that has become increasingly competitive with Yahoo Inc., Google Inc. and others entering the fray to drive down prices. In 2004, DoubleClick hired the investment bank Lazard Freres & Co. to evaluate future options for the business including a recapitalization, extraordinary dividend, share repurchase or a spin-off.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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