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TheStreet Acquires The Deal for $5.8 Million (Update 3)

Updated from 11:02 a.m. ET to include closing share price, comments from The Deal's Editor in Chief Robert Teitelman.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- TheStreet (TST) Wednesday completed the acquisition of The Deal LLC, a media company primarily covering the mergers and acquisitions market, from private equity firm Wasserstein & Co.

During a conference call, TheStreet disclosed the purchase price for The Deal was $5.8 million in cash and said it plans to discontinue The Deal's monthly print magazine, resulting in an undisclosed number of layoffs. In a Form 8-K filing, the company said it expects to record "material charges for exit and disposal activities" related to its restructuring plan but didn't estimate the amount of the charges.

"This is a terrific combination that grows the most profitable portion of our business, subscription revenues," said Elisabeth DeMarse, CEO of TheStreet, in a statement. "The Deal is a prominent and well-respected brand that the market will intuitively associate with TheStreet, creating new revenue opportunities for both businesses at minimal incremental cost."

On the conference call, DeMarse said the transaction is likely to immediately add to cash flow on a pro forma basis.

"If you have solid information that makes people money, you can get paid for that," DeMarse said on the call when asked about the combined company's business plan going forward.

TheStreet, a digital financial media company, is the publisher of this article. Its network of brands includes its namesake Web site, RealMoney, Stockpickr, Action Alerts PLUS, Banking My Way, MainStreet, and Rate-Watch.

The Deal, which was founded in 1999 as The Daily Deal print newspaper, has a strong digital presence with a institutional customer base of 40,000 subscribers, including senior-level bankers, private equity partners and hedge fund managers. The company's main product is The Deal Pipeline, which provides transactional information and services and produces more than 100 pieces of proprietary content each day.

With offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and London, The Deal has more than 120 employees, including 68 full-time journalists, according to its Web site.

TheStreet expects the acquisition to provide "substantial predictable recurring revenue with high renewals and attractive margins" and noted that The Deal's customer base has shown growth despite the downturn in M&A activity in the wake of the financial crisis.

Including "significant" corporate synergies as well as strategic and operational opportunities, TheStreet said in its press release that it anticipates the acquisition will be accretive to its consolidated adjusted EBITDA, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, in fiscal 2013.

"We are looking for a wave of M&A to increase revenues for The Deal and make this an extremely profitable acquisition for TheStreet," DeMarse said on the call. "However, even if M&A activity doesn't come back and given The Deal's current revenue, this acquisition is still immediately accretive."

TheStreet Chief Financial Officer Tom Etergino estimated The Deal's revenue at roughly $10 million for the past 12 months, excluding the print operations.

The company outlined a number of strategic moves it plans to make in relation to the acquisition, including adding its buy-side newsroom content to The Deal Pipeline, marketing The Deal Pipeline across TheStreet's network of Web properties, and offering TheStreet's Chat-on-TheStreet product through The Deal's enterprise sales force.

Shares of TheStreet finished a penny lower at $1.39. On Aug. 2, the company reported a second-quarter loss of $1.97 million, or 6 cents a share, on revenue of $12.48 million. Adjusted EBITDA totaled nearly $843,000 for quarter. TheStreet plans to provide more details on the financial impact of the acquisition when it reports its third-quarter results in November.

Robert Teitelman, editor in chief of The Deal since the company's founding, told staff in an e-mail on Wednesday that he is leaving the company, along with an unspecified amount of other employees.

"As I've said many times over the years, eventually we would be sold," he wrote. "And, indeed, to be sold in reasonable shape, with a stable business model, and somewhere in the neighborhood of profitability, is something of a quiet triumph, given our years of losses and crises and searching."

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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