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PR Newswire CEO Bob Gray to Exit as Cision Completes $841 Million Acquisition

UBM to net $700 million in cash from the sale of press-release distributor

Cision has completed its $841 million acquisition of press-release distributor PR Newswire and said PR Newswire chief executive officer Bob Gray will leave the company with the closing of the deal.

Cision, a provider of software and analytics tools for public relations and social media, announced the agreement to buy PR Newswire from U.K.-based media, events and publishing firm UBM in December.

Cision’s deal for PR Newswire is approved in all markets worldwide except Dubai and China, where it is pending regulatory review. With Gray’s exit, Cision CEO Peter Granat will oversee the combined organization.

UBM said it will net it about $700 million (£490 million) in cash proceeds from the PR Newswire sale, after adjustments for transaction expenses. “The disposal of PR Newswire is a signifcant milestone in the implementation of our ‘Events First’ strategy,” Tim Cobbold, CEO of UBM, said in a statement. “UBM is now focused on the attractive, high-growth and high-margin events sector and we continue in the pursuit of our ambition to become the world’s leading B2B events business.”

Chicago-based Cision also owns the Gorkana Group, PRWeb, Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and iContact brands, with more than 100,000 globally. PR Newswire’s content is distributed to about 4,500 U.S. websites, including Yahoo Finance, Dow Jones & Co.’s MarketWatch and Business Journals, and 550 news content systems like Moody’s, SmartBriefs, LexisNexis and McGraw-Hill.

“The acquisition of PR Newswire, the market leader in press release distribution, is a huge step in providing our customers a complete integrated solution for all their PR, IR and social media needs,” Cision CEO Peter Granat said in announcing the completion of the deal.

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