Primedia and About.com Merge
Posted on October 30, 2000
Tom Rogers, chairman and CEO of Primedia Inc. and Scott Kurnit, chairman and CEO of About, Inc., announced that the two companies have signed an agreement to merge. About.com is a network of topic specific websites run by expert guides. Primedia, Inc., with 1999 sales of $1.7 billion, is a targeted media company with over 200 magazines and 300 websites. Both companies target niche consumer markets.
``With this transaction, Primedia has been transformed. Niche is king,'' said Rogers. ``In one fell swoop we are marrying Primedia's powerhouse of content in more than 700 media niches with About's more than 700 topic specific Guide Sites and some 10,000 associated experts. Primedia is the leading traditional media company in the delivery of highly targeted niche print and video products to consumers. About is the leading on-line company in the delivery of niche content. This is the most synergistic combination either of these two companies could possibly enter into and creates a one of a kind company that no two other companies could create.''
``About has been the leader in on-line targeted marketing,'' said Kurnit. ``With this transaction, our Guides, staff and shareholders are becoming part of the unquestionable leader in all targeted marketing. We're excited to deliver this opportunity to our shareholders to unlock the value in our company. We believe that by being merged with Primedia we will grow faster and farther over time than as a standalone company.''
The companies have developed an additional relationship that includes an ads for equity deal valued at $72 million which will enable promotion of About within Primedia properties. Primedia and About have also put in place a sales agreement under which the Primedia salesforce will take responsibility for selling advertising on certain About.com sites. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2001. The resulting company will be called Primedia and will be listed on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PRM.