IMS Health, a data-mining company that tracks physician prescribing habits weekly and prepares weekly sales reports on pharmaceutical representatives who detail drugs to doctors, has reached an agreement to be acquired for about $7 billion in cash and stock by Dutch media conglomerate VNU, the companies announced today.
"Together we will be able to measure our clients' performance in three key sectors of the global economy -- consumer packaged goods, healthcare and media -- and offer superior insights into the consumer behavior that drives these markets," said Rob van den Bergh, VNU's chief executive officer, in a media statement.
VNU will pay IMS stockholders $11.25 in cash and 0.60415 shares of VNU stock per IMS share.
IMS Health also prepares and sells reports of hospital prescription drug use and provides marketing consulting services to pharmaceutical manufacturers. It has operations in more than 100 countries and reported revenue of nearly $1.6 billion and net income of $285 million in 2004, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
VNU, based in Haarlem, Netherlands, adds the pharmaceutical industry tracker to a portfolio of data collectors that includes the TV rating company AC Nielsen, which VNU purchased in 2001.