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DoubleClick to buy U.K. technology firm

The Internet marketing company offers to buy Protagona for about $12.9 million in cash, in a move to improve its tools for advertisers.

Net marketing company DoubleClick said Tuesday that it made an offer to buy U.K. technology concern Protagona for about $12.9 million in cash, in a move to improve its tools for advertisers.

The New York-based company said it would pay about 3.7 cents per share for Protagona, a 63 percent premium over the company's closing stock price as of Sept. 16. Birmingham, U.K.-based Protagona trades on U.K. stock market AIM.

Protagona makes software to help advertisers plan, execute and report on marketing campaigns across different media via one main portal. DoubleClick plans to add the tool to its existing software for ad planning, delivery and analysis.

The acquisition is the latest in a string of deals brokered by DoubleClick this year. The company has taken advantage of its dominant position in the beleaguered Web ad business as well as its cash reserves to acquire some complimentary assets and sell off other ailing divisions, such as its ad network business.

DoubleClick's newest acquisition is contingent on Protagona's proposed buyout of Swetenhams Marketing Services, which is subject to vote by the company's shareholders. The sale would happen in the event Protagona shareholders decline the Swetenhams purchase. Protagona's board unanimously recommended to approve DoubleClick's offer, according to Protagona Chairman Richard Livesey-Haworth.

If approved, DoubleClick will acquire Protagona's roughly 40 to 50 clients, which include Bertlesmann and Salomon Smith Barney.

"This acquisition will open the DoubleClick customer base to Protagona's marketing automation tool and strengthen DoubleClick's position in this growing market through an integrated product offering," DoubleClick CEO Kevin Ryan said in a statement.