New York -- NBC Universal and iVillage Inc. (NASDAQ:IVIL) have signed a definitive agreement for NBC to acquire iVillage. NBC Universal (a General Electric company) will purchase 100% of the equity of iVillage for $8.50 in cash per common share of the company for a net cost of approximately $600 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006 pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The acquisition is part of a plan by NBC Universal to engage millions of loyal iVillage users, a community which mirrors a key demographic of the NBC Universal audience - women. From this new platform, NBC Universal hopes to chart the next generation of digital content development and enhance user experience. NBC Universal has become the latest old media company to embrace the interactive facets of online media in an attempt to tap into the fast growing and lucrative internet advertising market.
iVillage is a well-established brand and a leading destination for a fast-growing sector of the online audience. iVillage brings a profitable internet business, with proprietary content and a consistent user base that commands premium advertising pricing. With the addition of iVillage, NBC Universal expects to grow the company's digital revenues to approximately $200MM in 2006, and projects a 20% growth rate going forward.
"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,” said Beth Comstock, President, NBC Universal Digital Media and Market Development.
"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.
Upon completion of the transaction, the iVillage team will report directly to Beth Comstock and continue to be based in New York.