Dow Jones & Company has signed an agreement to acquire the stock and assets comprising the Alternative Investor Group of Wicks Business Information, LLC for a cash purchase price of $85 million, including net working capital (Dow Jones will assume no debt in the transaction). The purchase will be financed via operating cash flow and incremental borrowings under the company's commercial paper program. The purchase price could potentially be increased by $5 million, payable in 2008, if performance in 2007 exceeds currently projected 2007 levels. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2004 and is expected to be modestly accretive to Dow Jones earnings per share in 2004.
In an effort to maximize synergies, Alternative Investor will be integrated within the Dow Jones Newsletters division, which also includes the recently acquired Technologic Partners business that also serves the venture-capital and private-equity markets with its VentureWire newswire and conferences. This newly formed operating unit providing newsletters, databases, and conferences will be operated within the Dow Jones Newswires division, which in turn is part of the Dow Jones Electronic Publishing segment. Richard A. Shaffer, founder of Technologic Partners, will be editor and publisher of this unit, reporting to Paul Ingrassia, president of Dow Jones Newswires.
Alternative Investor is a provider of databases, newsletters, and industry conferences for the venture-capital market and newsletters and events for the private-equity market. Alternative Investor produces five databases, including Venture Source, a source of information on venture-capital deals, companies, and people that is built on proprietary information about which funds are investing in which companies and at what valuations. Venture capitalists then are able to use this information to analyze investing opportunities. Alternative Investor also publishes four newsletters and other publications, including Private Equity Analyst, a source of news and information covering the private-equity market and its investment specialties, including venture capital, leveraged buyouts, mezzanine investing, and turnarounds. Venture Source, Private Equity Analyst and the other Alternative Investor products will draw on content from all Dow Jones publications and its network of news staff around the world. Likewise, content from the Alternative Investor products will be made available to other Dow Jones publications and services.