Gartner to buy business research and analysis firm CEB for $2.6 bn

US information technology research and advisory company Gartner Inc yesterday struck a deal to buy business research and analysis provider CEB Inc, for $2.6 billion in cash and stock.

Under the terms of the deal, CEB shareholders will receive $54 in cash and 0.2284 shares of Gartner for each share of CEB, implying 70 per cent cash and 30 per cent stock, a premium of 25 per cent to CEB's closing stock price on 4 January.

Post closing, Gartner shareholders will own approximately 91 per cent of the combined company and CEB shareholders will own approximately 9 per cent.

Gartner expects to fund the cash portion of the transaction through a combination of cash, existing credit facility and new additional debt financing.

CEB, based in Arlington, Virginia, has a 35-day "go-shop" period during which it can solicit alternative proposals.

The merger will create a giant in the consulting industry with revenue of around $3.3 billion.

CEB is a global best practice insights and technology company that provides talent management insights in fields such as human resources, sales, finance and legal.

CEB equips leaders at more than 10,000 companies like Hershey, Toyota, Xerox, Cargill, Johnson & Johnson, Goodyear and others.

Gartner said that the acquisition will further enhance its ability to deliver value to its clients with its analyst-driven, syndicated research and advisory services in IT, marketing and supply chain, combined with CEB's best practice and talent management insights across a range of business functions, including human resources (HR), sales, finance and legal.

''Our highly complementary business models will create the leading global research and advisory company for all major functions in the enterprise,'' said Gene Hall, CEO of Gartner.

''We look forward to working with CEB's highly talented teams to leverage our global reach and apply Gartner's proven operational and sales execution capabilities at scale to accelerate growth across CEB's businesses,'' he added.