NBC Universal will acquire iVillage ( IVIL) for $600 million cash, giving it a big portfolio of online properties on which to promote its news and entertainment programming.

The buyout price is $8.50 a share, a 6% premium to iVillage's closing price Friday of $7.98 a share. Based on Thomson First Call estimates, the price is 42.5 times this year's expected earnings, but the multiple is halved using the consensus estimate for 2008.

Eleven-year-old iVillage owns and operates Web sites that are primarily targeted toward women, including iVillage.com, Women.com, and Healthology.com. The New York-based company claims 14 million unique users and posted 30% revenue growth to about $91 million in 2005.

NBC Universal, which is 80% owned by General Electric ( GE), expects the acquisition to raise its digital revenue to $200 million this year and help drive 20% growth going forward.

"iVillage immediately gives us scale and a profitable, established platform to expand our digital efforts, especially in the rapidly growing areas of health and women's interests," NBC Universal said. "This is all about creating important new intersections between community, content and commerce. We envision connecting more deeply online, on mobile and on demand with key consumers throughout their various life stages -- from their unique interests to their finances to their health and well-being. We are also looking to create a more customized consumer healthcare experience, working in association with GE Healthcare."

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