Bloomberg Agrees to Acquire Researcher BNA for $990 Million

Bloomberg LP, the closely held news and financial information provider, agreed to buy The Bureau of National Affairs Inc. for about $990 million to add legal, tax and regulatory research and analysis.

BNA shareholders, who are current and former employees, will get $39.50 a share in cash in a transaction that is projected to be completed this year, New York-based Bloomberg said in a statement today.

The deal is part of Bloomberg’s expansion into new businesses to add products to the company’s terminal, a data hub used by traders and executives, and add to new titles for its news group. In 2009, Bloomberg acquired Businessweek magazine and New Energy Finance, which provides analysis on clean energy sources.

BNA, which publishes the Daily Labor Report and U.S. Law Week, will “significantly grow Bloomberg’s presence in Washington” and its research will contribute to coverage and analysis of employment, health care, labor, accounting, intellectual property and telecommunications, Bloomberg said.

The tender offer will begin by Sept. 8 and is subject to regulatory approval. BNA will be operated as a stand-alone subsidiary, Bloomberg said in the statement.

Bloomberg’s competitors include Thomson Reuters Corp. and Reed Elsevier Plc, owner of the LexisNexis database. Bloomberg LP is the parent of Bloomberg News.

Washington Focus

BNA, founded in 1929 and with its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, has more than 350 news services with customers that include attorneys, accountants, lobbyists and government administrators.

The company, which reported 2010 revenue of $331 million, has almost 1,500 employees. They include more than 600 reporters, lawyers and editors working in the Washington D.C. area, according to the company’s website. Bloomberg employs more than 13,600 people.

Credit Suisse Group AG and Geller & Co. are advising Bloomberg on the transaction. Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is legal adviser. Evercore Partners Inc. is BNA’s financial adviser, while Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is providing legal advice.

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