In the UK, online marketing services group TMN - which owns online research firms The iD Factor and ICD Research - is to acquire business information provider Progressive Digital Media from its owner Michael Danson.
Danson is Progressive's sole shareholder and a Non Executive Director of TMN Group. He founded market intelligence firm Datamonitor in 1990, and sold it to information group Informa in 2007 for £502m. At the time, it was reported that Danson had personally made £165m from the sale.
TMN first announced a potential 'reverse takeover' of the company in February this year, when it suspended trading in its shares on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). If the Progressive deal goes ahead, TMN will pay Danson with 292m new TMN shares, which will result in him owning an 85% stake in the enlarged group.
TMN's Non Executive Chairman Peter Harkness apologised to shareholders for the length of time it has taken to announce details of the transaction, but explained that the delay has been due to the need for compliance with market rules.
Progressive revenues are principally derived from business conferences and events, controlled circulation magazines, such as The New Statesman, and web-based reference portals. It has more than 200 sales personnel, 400 product creators, 65 developers and over 100 web sites through which it can deliver content.
Following its sale, it will be combined with TMN's operations across several markets including online market research, e-mail marketing, affiliate marketing, news conferences, virtual conferences and controlled circulation magazines.
'I am convinced that in these difficult economic times, an enlarged group will be better placed to trade successfully in the challenging market, take advantage of increased scale, greater financial stability and flexibility and ultimately deliver strong levels of growth over the medium term by capitalising on exciting opportunities in the B2B and B2C markets,' commented Danson.
The acquisition is conditional on approval by shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting, taking place on 24 June.
In January, TMN announced that due to a 'continued decline in performance' its profit will be 50% below expectations for the full year, and that it would be making staff cuts 'across the company'.
TMN's Board believe that the acquisition of Progressive will provide a number of benefits including a broader revenue base, greater financial stability and increased opportunities for growth.
Web sites: www.tmnplc.com .
All articles 2006-21 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.