24/7 Media To Acquire Real Media

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After much speculation about its future, Real Media Inc. will be sold to rival 24/7 Media Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. The new company will be called 24/7 Real Media.

Real Media’s majority owner, PubliGroupe of Switzerland, expects to post a huge loss in 2001 due to the declining advertising market, according to a Reuters report Wednesday. PubliGroupe will own about 15% of the new company.

Real Media shareholders will be issued approximately 8.3 million shares of 24/7 Media stock, in a deal valued at $1.9 million.

The combined company claims to have the largest online advertising network and a permission-based e-mail database with 35 million addresses. Many newspaper Web sites are Real Media clients.

The new company, based in New York, will be headed by 24/7 Media CEO David Moore and Chief Operating Officer Tony Plesner. Real Media’s Norman Blashka will serve as chief financial officer.

PubliGroupe took majority ownership of Real Media late last year, and installed a PubliGroupe executive, Walter Annasohn, as CEO.

Real Media co-founders Dave Morgan and Gil Beyda left the firm earlier this year. Annasohn is not among the management team of the new company.

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