Gannett Buys PointRoll for $100 Mil.

NEW YORK Gannett said it has struck a deal to buy Internet rich media technology company PointRoll.

The deal brings PointRoll’s rich-media formats, which include floating and expanding ad units, to the publisher of USA Today. Sources pegged the transaction price at $100 million in cash. The Jordan, Edmiston Group advised PointRoll on the acquisition.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity,” said Mitch Rose, PointRoll’s vice president of marketing. “It’s great for PointRoll. It’s great for our clients.”

PointRoll CEO Jules Gardner is leaving the company. COO Chris Saridakis is taking his place.

The acquisition is the latest example of newspaper publishers looking to the Internet for new growth areas. Earlier this week, Scripps inked a $525 million deal to buy Shopzilla, a comparison shopping service. The New York Times spent $410 million to buy in February.

“We believe their clever, popular approach to interactive advertising and their continuous innovation will be a nice fit,” said Craig Moon, president and publisher of USA Today, in a statement.

According to a source, the purchase price was nearly six times PointRoll’s revenues from the past 12 months. According to PointRoll, it served 10.5 billion ad impressions in 2004

Fort Washington, Pa.-based PointRoll hired Jordan Edmiston early this year to explore a sale of the company, which competes with rich media vendors Eyeblaster and Viewpoint.