Alliance Data to buy Conversant for $2.3 billion

Alliance Data said it plans to boost its digital marketing business by buying Conversant for about $2.3 billion

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, the companies said Thursday.

Dallas-based Alliance Data manages and for retailers such as Lane Bryant, J. Crew and Buckle.

Conversant, which is based in Westlake Village, California, provides online advertising services to its clients. The company was formerly known as ValueClick.

Alliance Data said it will pay $35 for each share of Conversant, a 31 percent premium from its closing price of $26.71 Thursday. It will pay for Conversant with cash and stock.

Alliance Data expects the combined company to add about 50 cents per share to its earnings during the first year, and 75 cents per share in the second year.

Shares of Conversant Inc. soared nearly 33 percent to $35.47 after the market closed Thursday. Alliance Data shares rose more than to 2 percent to $258.50 in after-market trading.

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