Yahoo to acquire Broadcast.com

The portal giant will pay $130 for each share of the Webcasting company, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Yahoo has agreed to acquire Broadcast.com in a stock swap, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Trading was halted in both companies in after-hours trading. Sources said Yahoo would offer $130 for each Broadcast.com share. A Yahoo spokeswoman declined comment, except to say an announcement was planned for 8:30 a.m. ET tomorrow with Wall Street analysts. It will be broadcast on the Net via Broadcast.com, she added. Broadcast.com declined comment.

Wall Street analysts pegged the deal at about $5.7 billion at a stock exchange rate of about .77, making it one of the largest Net acquisitions along with America Online's buyout of Netscape Communications and @Home's merger with Excite.

According to a regulatory filing, Broadcast.com had 36.8 million outstanding shares as of March 15, but the total could be higher when accounting for shares that are reserved for stock options, as well as any additional shares that were issued since then. Broadcast.com's stock has traded as high as 144.75 in the past 52 weeks.

The tentative deal calls for Broadcast.com to keep its offices in Dallas. Cofounders Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner will stay with the company, sources said.

"We think this see related story: Report details Yahoo strategies deal is strategically sound for both parties," Hambrecht & Quist analyst Paul Noglows said.

The companies have been engaged in acquisition discussions for the past few weeks. Yahoo also hinted to financial analysts during an on-site meeting that it was planning to make more acquisitions this year.

Yahoo in January moved to acquire home page builder GeoCities, with which it plans to introduce more e-commerce functions to the site's close to 4 million members.

Analysts have long praised a possible fit between the two companies, saying that Broadcast.com would give Yahoo a strongly branded Web property and a traffic boost. Additionally, Yahoo could use Broadcast.com's technology platform to further develop its own broadband strategy.

Yahoo will announce quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 7, after the market closes.

News.com's Jeff Pelline contributed to this report.

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