NBC announced plans Monday to acquire all outstanding shares of its failed
portal venture, NBC Internet Inc.
The Associated Press reported that the company plans to shut down the
venture. NBC plans to hold a conference call Monday morning to lay out its plans
NBC, which owns 38.6 percent of NBCi, said it will acquire all outstanding
NBCi stock for $2.19 per share -- a 46 percent premium on Friday's closing price
of $1.50. NBC didn't mention in the announcement that NBCi closed at $76 the day
of its initial public offering in November 1999, and that most NBCi investors
will take a huge loss on the buyout.
NBC remained optimistic in the press release announcing the move.
'This begins the next phase in the evolution of our Internet strategy as we
seek to build successful models like MSNBC.com, the No. 1 news site on the Internet,
and CNBC.com, the stickiest financial site on
the Web,' Mark Begor, NBC chief financial officer and president of NBC business
development and interactive media, said in the release.
After 150 NBCi employees were laid off in January, NBC said Monday that more
cuts are planned.
In February, NBCi reported $16 million in first-quarter revenue, down
significantly from the $31 million it reported in fourth-quarter 2000. That
month, NBCi executives maintained that advertising revenue would rebound,
predicting that it would generate $100 million in revenue in 2001, down from
$122.9 million last year.