DoubleClick bought for US$1.1B

Online adverstising company, DoubleClick is bought for US$1.1 billion.

Two U.S. private equity firms have bought online advertising company DoubleClick for US$1.1 billion, DoubleClick announced Monday.

The firms, Hellman and Friedman of San Francisco and JMI Equity of 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 could not immediately be reached for comment.

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

DoubleClick stockholders will receive US$8.50 for each share of DoubleClick common stock. The company's board of directors have 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, Google 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.

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