Female-targeted website iVillage has agreed to buy its main rival Women.com Networks in a deal worth around $30 million.

The agreement will see iVillage hand over 0.322 shares of common stock for every equivalent share in Women.com – a total sum of $29.7m – plus a further $250,000 in cash.

A further 9.3m shares in iVillage, plus warrants to buy an extra 2.1m, will also be offered to Women.com’s public stockholders in return for a $20m total investment.

Media group Hearst, which holds a 46% stake in Women.com, will come out of the deal with less than 30% in iVillage. Hearst has invested around $40m in Women.com, using it to post content from its magazines onto the web.

Both companies have suffered a decline in ad revenues (their main source of income), raising questions about how many advertising-dependent, female-oriented sites the internet can sustain as online adspend in general slows.

News source: Wall Street Journal