Meta Pops on Gartner Buyout

Shareholders will get $10 a share in the $162 million deal.
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Shareholders of

Meta Group

(META)

got a late Christmas present Monday when

Gartner

(IT) - Get Report

said it would buy the research shop for $10 a share, or $162 million.

Meta shares shot up $3.34, or 52%, to $9.82 on the session, taking out their old 52-week high of $6.91. The stock traded 1.8 million shares in the session, compared with its average volume of about 20,000 shares.

Meta, which does information technology research and consulting, had revenue of $122 million in 2003, when it operated 52 locations.

Gartner will finance the acquisition with existing cash plus borrowings under its line of credit. It doesn't see the deal having a material effect on 2005 results, though it will be accretive thereafter.

"The addition of a sales team from Meta Group that is already highly conversant in Gartner's product and service offerings will enhance Gartner's ability to grow sales going forward," the company said. "The combination will also drive operational efficiency, given the complementary nature of the two companies."