IT research company Gartner Inc. said Thursday it has agreed to acquire CEB Inc. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $2.6 billion. The deal has an enterprise value of about $3.3 billion, including the assumption of about $700 million of CEB debt, Gartner said in a statement. Gartner expects the deal to close in the first half and to immediately boost per-share earnings. The company is expecting double-digit gains for EPS in 2018. CEB shareholders will receive $54 in cash and 0.2284 of Gartner stock for every CEB share owned, equal to a premium of about 31% compared to the volume weighted average closing stock price of CEB over the past 30 days. Pro forma, the combined company had $3.3 billion in revenue for the 12 months to end September, $693 million in adjusted EBITDA and $463 million in free cash flow. To finance the deal, Gartner is expecting to issue 8 million shares and to raise debt financing for the cash component. CEB shares jumped 16% premarket on the news, while Gartner stock was still inactive.
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