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CMP Media Gets Buyout Offer

Britain's United News & Media said Thursday that it agreed to buy U.S.-based CMP Media Inc. for $39 a share, or $920 million.

United (UNEWY) said members of the Leeds family and related trusts, controlling 68 percent of CMP stock (CMPX), have agreed to tender their shares.

CMP's vast family of publishing and Internet business will be combined with the trade show and publishing businesses of United's Miller Freeman unit.

"CMPNet [CMP's online operation], for which we intend to seek external financing later this year, is well placed to capture the explosive growth in online advertising and e-commerce," Clive Hollick, chief executive of United News & Media, said in a statement.

"The acquisition of CMP is a major step in United's strategy of establishing leading positions in fast growing business-to-business markets," Hollick said.

In early trading on Wall Street, shares of CMP shot up 4 7/16, or 13.1 percent, to 38 5/16. United shares gained 1 1/4, or 5.6 percent, to 231/2. In mid-afternoon London trade, United News stock was up 41 pence, or 6 percent, at 714.

"This acquisition makes sense from both business and cultural perspectives," said Michael Leeds, chief executive of CMP, based in Manhasset, N.Y.

The technology publishing market in the U.S. has seen annual growth of 13 percent over the last 10 years. It was worth $3.5 billion in 1997.

Written By Gareth Vaughan, CBS MarketWatch

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