Data-mining company IMS Health, Fairfield, Conn., will be acquired by Netherlands-based media conglomerate VNU for about $7 billion in cash and stock. IMS tracks physician prescribing and hospital drug orders and acts as a marketing consultant to drug companies. VNU's portfolio of data companies includes TV-ratings firm AC Nielsen. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006, pending regulatory approvals. In a news release, VNU said, "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." -- by Joseph Conn
Drug sales-tracking firm IMS Health to be acquired
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