Interactive Data to Acquire Lycos Inc.'s Quote.com
Transaction Will Broaden eSignal's Portfolio of Streaming, Real-Time Market Data Platforms for Active Traders and Create a Comprehensive Online Financial Destination
BEDFORD, Mass., February 1, 2006 Interactive Data Corporation (NYSE: IDC), a leading global provider of financial market data and analytic tools to institutional investors, active traders and individual investors, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Quote.com® and related assets from Lycos®, Inc. for $30.0 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter, subject to customary closing conditions including governmental approvals.
Quote.com, also known as the Lycos Finance division, markets four distinct offerings that deliver financial content and trading tools to active traders and individual investors. These include the subscription-based QCharts™ and LiveCharts™ services that provide real-time streaming data and decision support tools to help active traders formulate investment strategies, as well as Quote.com, a financial news and analysis website, and Raging Bull™, an online investment community and message board site. Upon completion of the transaction, the assets of Quote.com will be operated as part of Interactive Data's eSignal division.
"The acquisition of Quote.com represents an important step in expanding eSignal's capabilities, content and services," said Stuart Clark, president and chief executive officer of Interactive Data Corporation. "With the addition of the Quote.com assets, eSignal will deliver a broader suite of services to an even wider range of active trader customers and possess an increasingly valuable family of financial portals. We believe that the combination of our acquisition of the Quote.com assets, our December 2005 acquisition of IS.Teledata AG, and the product development initiatives now in place across our organization positions us to accelerate our revenue growth in 2006 and enhance our profitability in 2007."
The addition of LiveCharts and QCharts will complement and augment eSignal's existing portfolio of streaming, real-time market data platforms and analytical tools, and bring more than 14,500 direct subscribers to eSignal. As of September 30, 2005, eSignal reported approximately 46,000 direct subscription terminals. The combined set of websites, which will include eSignal's recently launched MarketCenter.com and FutureSource.com, as well as Quote.com and RagingBull.com, generate an aggregate of 196 million page views per month. Interactive Data anticipates this will position eSignal to build a growing new revenue stream through online advertising.
"Quote.com has become an industry leader in providing premium subscription-based charting and analysis tools, and considered to be one of the leading brands of the Lycos Network," said Alfred Tolle, chief executive officer, Lycos, Inc. "Over the past year, however, Lycos has evolved our business to focus on digital content creation, as a destination for people to create, store and market content. Going forward, it became evident that Quote.com did not fit in with this strategy and we began looking at a better fit for Quote.com. We believe that Quote.com will enhance and complement Interactive Data's eSignal portfolio of offerings, and that this transaction will help ensure that Quote.com's customers continue to receive a high level of service."
"This acquisition will help eSignal achieve its goal of becoming the most comprehensive, flexible and easy-to-use financial information resource for active traders," said Chuck Thompson, president of Interactive Data's eSignal division. "The addition of the LiveCharts and QCharts services will further expand eSignal's portfolio of services and tools, thereby enabling us to better address the unique needs and skill levels of both novice and more experienced traders who are seeking lower priced alternatives. At the same time, by uniting the financial websites from Quote.com and eSignal, we can create a compelling online destination for the millions of people who rely on the Internet for global financial markets information and the advertisers that target this audience. By taking advantage of our existing infrastructure and resources, we believe that we can cost-effectively and rapidly enhance the content and capabilities of these acquired services and websites."
Quote.com currently employs approximately 30 people. The majority of these people are based in Waltham, Massachusetts, with the remainder in Santa Clara, California. David Kim, Quote.com's general manager, will continue to oversee the Quote.com assets, reporting directly to Chuck Thompson, president of eSignal.
The Quote.com assets generated, on an unaudited basis, 2005 service revenue of approximately $12.7 million with total costs and expenses, excluding amortization, of approximately $9.5 million. Assuming the transaction closes during the first quarter of 2006, Interactive Data anticipates that the transaction will be earnings neutral in 2006, and through a combination of planned revenue growth and operational synergies, accretive to earnings in 2007 and beyond.
Interactive Data Corporation Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Federal securities laws, and is subject to the safe-harbor created by such Act and laws. Forward-looking statements include our statements discussing future financial conditions, results or projections, including statements relating to (i) the anticipated impact of the acquisitions of the Quote.com assets or IS.Teledata AG, or current product development initiatives on our business, including any impact on our service revenue, earnings and profit margins in 2006 or 2007 (ii) our estimation of Quote.com's 2005 service revenue and expenses, (iii) the anticipated timing of the closing, (iv) our plans to enhance and expand the services we offer to eSignal or Quote.com customers enabling us to better meet their financial information needs, (v) our expectation that we will be able to build a growing new revenue stream through online advertising and (vi) our plans to combine Quote.com's and eSignal's services to achieve cost-savings synergies and revenue growth. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include: the acquisition may not close on a timely basis or at all; our ability to successfully integrate the Quote.com assets; and our ability to retain key employees of Quote.com. Other factors include, but are not limited to: (i) the presence of competitors with greater financial resources than ours and their strategic response to our services and products; (ii) a possible decline in activity levels in the active trader markets; (iii) new offerings by competitors or new technologies that could cause our products or services to become less competitive or obsolete; and (iv) other factors identified in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
The eSignal division (www.esignal.com) of Interactive Data Corporation is a leading global provider of financial and business information to professional and active individual investors. Building on a 20-year legacy of delivering time-sensitive financial information, eSignal provides streaming, real-time market data, news and analytics. eSignal's suite of products includes eSignal®, Advanced GET™, QuoTrek®, FutureSource®, MarketCenter™, and MarketCenter LIVE™.
About Interactive Data Corporation
Interactive Data Corporation is a leading global provider of securities pricing, financial information, and analytic tools to institutional and individual investors. The Company supplies time-sensitive pricing (including evaluated pricing), dividend, corporate action, and descriptive information for more than 3.5 million securities traded around the world, including hard-to-value instruments. Many of the world's best-known financial services and software companies subscribe to the Company's services in support of their trading, analysis, portfolio management, and valuation activities.
Interactive Data Corporation is headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts. Through its branded businesses, FT Interactive Data, ComStock, CMS BondEdge, and eSignal, Interactive Data Corporation has approximately 2,100 employees in offices located in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO), an international media company, whose businesses include the Financial Times Group, Pearson Education, and the Penguin Group, owns approximately 62 percent of the outstanding common stock of Interactive Data Corporation.
The FT Interactive Data business includes FT Interactive Data Corporation, a Delaware corporation. The ComStock business includes ComStock, Inc., a New York corporation.
About Lycos, Inc.
Lycos is one of the original and most widely known Internet brands in the world, evolving from one of the first search engines on the web, into a comprehensive network of social media web sites that foster online communities.>Lycos has been a pioneer in intelligent spidering search technology, combining its proprietary technology with other best in class search services to provide a powerful and relevant search experience for its users.
Times change, and Lycos has changed with them, evolving into digital media power house with two major divisions
Lycos, is a network of easy to use community and social sites. Lycos's award-winning products and services include tools for blogging, web publishing and hosting, online games, e-mail, and search. The Lycos Network of sites and services include Lycos.com, Tripod, Angelfire, HotBot, Gamesville, WhoWhere, and Lycos Mail. Integrated, these sites help in bringing people together to interact, conduct commerce, have fun, and experience the best the Internet has to offer, is in our DNA. We offer 40 Local Sites in 120 Languages with a community spanning across 177 Countries. Lycos consistently averages 12 - 15 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S.
Lycos employs over 500 people working out of 24 offices worldwide, including the US, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Ukraine, Sweden, Serbia, Israel, China, Thailand, Panama, India, Emirates, Russia and Australia, and with representatives or partners in Spain, South Africa, and The Netherlands.www.lycos.com
US PR Department
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" - that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "should" or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, uncertainties arise from the behavior of financial and digital marketing industry, and fluctuations in exchange rates; from future integration of businesses; and from numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive or regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.