Deal for women’s Web sites expected to close in second quarter.
NBC Universal is buying iVillage, the operator of popular Web sites for women for $8.50 in cash per common share of the company or approximately $600 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006 pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
by and Doug McCormick, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, iVillage Inc. NBC Universal will purchase 100% of the equity of iVillage
According to NBC U, iVillage users mirror “a key demographic of the NBC Universal audience—women. Every part of NBC Universal, from television and film to home entertainment will support and drive iVillage forward. From this platform, NBC Universal will chart the next generation of digital content development and enhance user experience.”
“As this transaction demonstrates, we are committed to delivering content to consumers through distribution systems both traditional and new,” said Bob Wright, chairman and CEO of NBC Universal. “Acquiring iVillage will enable us to bring our programming to a large and passionate online community. We look forward to building on the considerable brand strength iVillage has developed over the past 10 years and to giving our advertising clients new and exciting ways to reach a valuable demographic.”
With the addition of iVillage, NBC Universal expects to grow the company’s digital revenues to approximately $200 million in 2006, and projects a 20% growth rate going forward. Full year 2005 iVillage.com revenues were up approximately 30% year-over-year, excluding acquisitions. Additionally, NBC Universal expects to realize significant cost synergies by using iVillage capabilities to support existing digital operations.
“iVillage immediately gives us scale and a profitable, established platform to expand our digital efforts, especially in the rapidly growing areas of health and women’s interests,” said Beth Comstock, president, NBC Universal Digital Media and Market Development. “This is all about creating important new intersections between community, content and commerce. We envision connecting more deeply online, on mobile and on demand with key consumers throughout their various life stages—from their unique interests to their finances to their health and well-being. We are also looking to create a more customized consumer healthcare experience, working in association with GE Healthcare.”
“This acquisition allows us to marry our on-air branded content with compelling new interactive functionality,” added Jeff Zucker, chief executive officer, NBC Universal Television Group. “From the Today Show to Project Runway to The Biggest Loser to all the health and medical and lifestyles segments we do every day on every one of our owned and operated television stations, we will now be able to create a deeper, richer experience around our content for consumers across all emerging platforms.”
Upon completion of the transaction, the iVillage team will report directly to Beth Comstock and continue to be based in New York.