IMS Health Sold for $6.9 Billion

VNU gobbles up the health care data provider for $28.10 a share.
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Dutch media titan


will open its bulging wallet for a major provider of U.S. medical data.

VNU, which is applying to list its depositary shares in the U.S., said Monday that it agreed to takeover

IMS Health


for cash and stock worth $6.9 billion, or about $28.10 a share.

IMS closed Friday at $25.89 and was recently trading on Instinet at $26.05.

VNU publishes various magazines in the U.S. and owns the Nielsen television ratings service. The roughly $7 billion-market-cap company sees the acquisition adding to earnings in the first year after it closes, probably in the first quarter of 2006.

The companies would have had combined 2004 revenue of about $5.6 billion, combined earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $1.3 billion and a combined EBITDA margin of 23%.

"Together, we will be able to measure our clients' performance in three key sectors of the global economy -- consumer packaged goods, health care and media -- and offer superior insights into the consumer behavior that drives these markets," they said in a statement.