NBC Universal will acquire popular women's destination site iVillage, the companies announced today. NBCU will purchase 100 percent of the equity of iVillage for $8.50 in cash per common share, for a net cost of approximately $600 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. "Every part of NBC Universal, from television and film to home entertainment will support and drive iVillage forward. From this platform, NBC Universal will chart the next generation of digital content development and enhance user experience," according to the announcement.
iVillage, with over 14 million unique users according to comScore, offers proprietary content and a user base that commands premium advertising pricing. With the addition of iVillage, NBC Universal said it expects to grow digital revenues to approximately $200 million in 2006, and projects a subsequent 20 percent growth rate. Full-year 2005 iVillage.com revenues were up approximately 30 percent from 2004, excluding acquisitions.
"iVillage immediately gives us scale and a profitable, established platform to expand our digital efforts, especially in the rapidly growing areas of health and women's interests," said Beth Comstock, President, NBC Universal Digital Media and Market Development, in a statement.
"This is all about creating important new intersections between community, content and commerce. We envision connecting more deeply online, on mobile and on demand with key consumers throughout their various life stages…. We are also looking to create a more customized consumer healthcare experience, working in association with GE Healthcare."
Executives from NBC Universal and iVillage will hold a conference call at 10:00 a.m. that will be broadcast live via www.ivillage.com/investor and www.streetevents.com.
Upon completion of the transaction, the iVillage team will report directly to Comstock and will remain in New York.