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Keynote to buy researcher Vividence

Internet research firm acquired to add to Keynote's understanding of Web consumers.

Keynote Systems, whose technology measures the operational performance of Web sites, said Friday that it will acquire privately held Vividence Corp., an Internet consumer-research firm, for about $20 million in cash. Keynote, based in San Mateo, Calif., says the acquisition will bolster its understanding of Internet consumers. Vividence, also in San Mateo, adds to two other Keynote acquisitions in the online market research business--Enviz in 2002 and NetRaker this April. Keynote will add about 130 Vividence customers, which have included Citibank, eBay and Microsoft.

The deal is expected to close in the next month. Keynote will pay Vividence up to an additional $6 million by Sept. 30, 2005, if performance targets are met. The company said the buyout will lift results by $11 million to $14 million next year. More than 50 of Vividence's 65 employees will join Keynote, bringing its staff to 240, a Keynote spokesman said.