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DoubleClick to buy second e-mail marketer

The Internet advertising company agrees to buy e-mail marketer MessageMedia in a deal worth about $41 million in stock.

Internet advertising company DoubleClick said Friday it agreed to buy e-mail marketer MessageMedia in a deal worth about $41 million in stock--its second purchase of such services this year.

New York-based DoubleClick, which sells online advertising and provides the technology to deliver those ads, said the acquisition will expand its client roster and provide licensed software for delivering e-mail marketing campaigns.

The deal marks DoubleClick's second acquisition of e-mail marketing services. In February, the company bought Toronto-based FloNetwork, also a permission-based e-mail marketer, for an undisclosed sum.

DoubleClick has been trying to fortify its e-mail services since mid-2000 in an effort to diversify its offerings after a downturn in online ad sales. Late last year, the company lost a bid to buy e-mail marketer NetCreations, which agreed to be acquired by Italian conglomerate Seat Pagine Gialle for $111 million in December.

Under Friday's agreement, DoubleClick will issue 0.0436 of a common share for each MessageMedia common share. The exchange ratio offers a per-share price of 60 cents, based on a 10-day average of DoubleClick's closing stock price ended May 31, 2001. The ratio is a 42 percent premium over MessageMedia's 10-day average closing stock price.

The deal, which is subject to conditions such as the approval of MessageMedia shareholders, is expected to close in the third quarter.

MessageMedia delivers more than 100 million e-mails for such clients as Fleet Boston Financial, E*Trade and Columbia House. Through the acquisition, DoubleClick plans to fold into its e-mail offerings a range of technologies and consulting services. The purchase will also help DoubleClick expand its e-mail offerings overseas.

"With this acquisition, we will expand our customer base to over 500 leading direct marketers and increase the number of personalized e-mails delivered to over 700 million per month," Court Cunningham, DoubleClick's general manager of DARTmail Technology, said in a statement.