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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dutch Buy Into U.S. Data Firm

AMSTERDAM -- Dutch publisher VNU is to buy health care data provider IMS Health for 5.8 billion euros ($6.9 billion), strengthening its position as the world's biggest market-research company, the companies said Monday.

The deal adds the health care market to VNU's Nielsen media and A.C. Nielsen consumer goods market intelligence and marks a further step in the transformation of the former Dutch newspaper and magazine publisher into a U.S.-based business information group. The value of the deal is almost equal to VNU's market capitalization of about 6 billion euros.

"This merger of two industry leaders gives us the scale and capabilities to meet growing client demand for the must-have market intelligence that drives critical business decisions," VNU chief executive Rob van den Bergh said in a statement.

"The deal makes a lot of sense for both shareholders. Together we will grow faster, taking advantage of great opportunities to work together, as well as running our worldwide operations more efficiently," he told journalists.

The merged company will trade on the Euronext Amsterdam and the New York Stock Exchange, with a full listing of its American Depository Receipts on the NYSE at the time of closing.

Its board will be headed by van den Bergh, with IMS chief executive David Carlucci as deputy CEO and chief operating officer.