WebTrends Gains Independence From NetIQ

NetIQ Corp, which bought Web analytics company WebTrends in January 2001 in a stock deal then valued at $1 billion, will sell WebTrends to private equity fund company Francisco Partners for $94 million in cash, the companies announced Monday.

The deal, expected to close by June 30, will make WebTrends a private company once again. Greg Drew, who had been senior vice president-general manager, will become CEO and president of the company, which analyzes site traffic and marketing campaigns for clients including Priceline.com, T-Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, and Kimberly-Clark Corporation.

Brent Hieggelke, vice president-corporate marketing, said the deal will let the company management "act purely with the interests of WebTrends in mind," by freeing it from the constraints of quarterly stock reports. "When you don't have that sort of reporting overhead, your horizons and your perspective change."

He added that clients aren't likely to notice a change, because WebTrends has been operating as a stand-alone business unit for more than a year.

Hieggelke also said that although the original stock sale to NetIQ was valued at $1 billion when announced, the actual value was closer to $250 million--including WebTrends' $80 million in cash--by the time the deal closed.

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