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The New York Times reports that Valassis Communications, the largest provider of newspaper inserts, and Advo, the direct-mail marketer, have settled their differences Tuesday and will compete a merger first announced in July.

“The two companies came to terms after the board of Advo agreed late Monday to drop its asking price to $33 a share from $37, and Valassis acknowledged that it had found no evidence to support its claim of having been defrauded by Advo,” according to the Times story.

In a statement released yesterday, Valassis noted that “the transaction will create the nation's largest integrated media services provider. The combination will feature the most comprehensive product and customer offering in the industry serving 20,000 advertisers worldwide, including 94 of the top 100 advertisers in the United States. The combined company will be positioned to capture growth across the expanded product and service portfolio, delivering customized, targeted solutions on a national, regional, zip code, sub-zip code and household basis. Advo's shared mail distribution business penetrates up to 114 million households, or 90% of U.S. homes, adding substantially to Valassis' weekly newspaper distribution of over 60 million households. The combined company will have 7,900 employees with operations in nine countries.

Valassis had sued to void the merger agreement, saying that Advo had misrepresented its financial situation, and Advo countersued saying that Valassis just had a case of buyer’s remorse.
KC's View:
Such a nice, heartwarming holiday story. Peace on earth, and goodwill to all Valassis and Advo investors.