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ZelnickMedia snaps up Alloy, creator of ‘Gossip Girl,’ for $127 million

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OMG! ZelnickMedia, the company that took control of Take-Two Interactive Software in a boardroom coup three years ago, is acquiring Alloy Inc., creator of the CW network’s teen-adled television hits ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Vampire Diaries,’ for $127 million in cash.

The deal calls for ZelnickMedia to pay $9.80 a share, a 14% premium over Alloy’s closing stock price on Wednesday.

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Alloy has its hands in a number of media plays, most of which are dedicated to teenage audiences. It operates a collection of websites, including Teen.com and gURL.com, that together snag 51 million visitors a month, according to comScore. Its Channel One broadcasts a daily 12-minute news program directly into middle schools and high schools. Alloy TV spins out original short-form Web video. And Alloy Entertainment publishes young adult novels.

The two companies expect the transaction to close by the end of the year. Once that happens, Alloy will acquire two new board members: Geraldine Laybourne, former chief executive of Nickelodeon, and Bill Jemas, former chief operating officer of Marvel Entertainment.

ZelnickMedia, co-founded by entertainment executive Strauss Zelnick, is perhaps best known for orchestrating the boardroom coup at video game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software in 2007. Take-Two’s Rockstar Games develops the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise and is the creator of the recent hit title Red Dead Redemption.

-- Alex Pham


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