Pearson Buys M&A Data Firm Mergermarket For $192 Million; FT Enhancement Planned

The announcement leading up to this acquisition was funny: Pearson announced and then withdrew saying there was an error, and then announced the closure of the deal two hours later. The story is that other bidders were in till the last second (including McGraw-Hill and General Electric).
Anyway, the news: Pearson, the parent company of FT, has bought London-based deal news and data firm Mergermarket for 101 million pounds ($192 million) with an eye to enhancing what Financial Times can offer readers.
Mergermarket, founded in 2000, has about 160 journalists in 31 countries, and mainly sells the information to investment banks and law firms. Pearson expects the deal to add to its earnings per share in 2007, the first full year after the purchase.
The rationale of the deal: similar to what Dow Jones had when it bought VentureWire here in U.S.: “Connect mergermarket and the FT Group, from the Financial Times and FT.com to our specialist financial magazines and Interactive Data Corp.”
Times UK: The management of Mergermarket — including the founders, Caspar Hobbs, 37, a former British Army major, and Charlie Welsh, 40, a financial journalist — owned half the company, while institutions owned the remainder. The founders refused to confirm how much they would make from the sale, although it is understood that they will take about GBP 10 million each. New Media Spark, the VC firm, is cashing in its GBP 28 million stake. Its initial investment was GBP 1.175 million.
Independent UK: The company has about 1,000 subscribers and the information is delivered online. It is thought Mergermarket’s revenues were GBP 18 million in 2005.