Cision Acquires PR Newswire For $841m
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Cision Acquires PR Newswire For $841m

Cision continues acquisition streak with major deal for press release distributor.

Holmes Report

CHICAGO—Cision has agreed to acquire PRNewswire from UBM for $841m, in the latest illustration of consolidation in the media intelligence sector.

The deal comes after Cision merged with Vocus in 2014. Originally based in Sweden, Cision has also made numerous other acquisitions in recent years, including Gorkana Group and Visible Technologies. Buyout firm GTCR, which bought Cision last year, has been acquiring several companies in the PR software space recently.

"Bringing Cision and PR Newswire together will enable communicators to turn data into actionable insights -- the necessary link between communications and business outcomes," explained Peter Granat, Cision CEO. "We are serious about building a comprehensive platform to help our clients manage the entire lifecycle of communications – from influencer discovery and content distribution to engagement and campaign analysis."

The deal comprises $810m in cash and $31m of preferred equity. UBM announced that following completion of the transaction, £245m will be returned to its shareholders by way of a special dividend, with the remainder retained to provide greater financial capacity to drive the strategy through bolt-on acquisitions.

The transaction, which requires approval by the shareholders of UBM plc as well as regulatory approvals, is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2016.

The deal will allow UBM to  focus on increasing the company's market share in trade shows and events. Last year, it bought trade show company Advanstar Communication for $972m.

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