ValueClick acquires £15.8m Pricerunner

Online marketing group Value-Click, which offers ad delivery and tracking, affiliate marketing and search placement, is buying into the online shopping market with the $29 million (£15.8m) acquisition of price-comparison service Pricerunner.

The firm said the deal would expand its array of performance-based online marketing platforms and boost its presence in Europe. Pricerunner is the third-most popular comparison site in the UK, behind Kelkoo and DealTime, and also operates in France, Germany and Sweden.

The £15.8m agreement includes cash and about 263,000 shares of ValueClick common stock shares issued to three management shareholders of Pricerunner. An extra consideration worth $6m is dependent on Pricerunner's performance.

ValueClick is aiming to take advantage of the anticipated growth in European online retail sales, which Forrester Research forecasts will grow from EUR40bn (£26.8bn) in 2004 to EUR167bn (£112bn) in 2009.

James Zarley, CEO of Value-Click said: "We've been looking to add comparison shopping as part of our strategic growth plan."

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).