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About.com acquired by old-media concern Primedia
October 30, 2000 11:44 AM   Subscribe

About.com acquired by old-media concern Primedia for $690 million in Primedia stock. One of the true original web-content concepts has found a valuation anchor.
posted by MattD (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
about.com was only really 'original' in that it pioneered the 'let's pay our content providers nothing' ideal, i think. otherwise, it really isn't much more than a glorified, templated links page.
posted by maura at 12:17 PM on October 30, 2000


Send the phrase 'valuation anchor' on over to the Web Economy Bullshit Generator.
posted by Jeremy at 12:34 PM on October 30, 2000


Wow. An old-media buyout of a new-media company in which the the buyer is the more fatuous of the two (Primedia brings us such hard-hitting magazines as Seventeen).

Also from the article:

``I can't think of a more significant transforming event than this merger with About. It is a parallel of what Primedia is in the online world,'' Rogers said in a conference call. ''About is a mirror of what we are, and a sound economic model.'' PRIMEDIA SHARES PLUNGE

(someone forgot to place that last one inside the proper MRML wrapper, I guess)
posted by grimmelm at 1:07 PM on October 30, 2000


Just makes me glad I bowed out of being Usenet Guide back when it was still The Mining Company.
posted by ZachsMind at 1:16 PM on October 30, 2000


Jeremy: I would be honored if "valuation anchor" (which I just invented) gets sucked into the matrix of biz speak.

I hope that anyone who can bring themselves to take Business2.0 out of its wrapper (I can't -- it usually goes straight from mailbox to circular file, resting on the desk for a couple of days in between) will let me know if this occurs.

MJD
posted by MattD at 1:27 PM on October 30, 2000


So does this mean all their employees' and guides' stock options are KAPUT?
posted by aaron at 10:56 PM on October 30, 2000


(I can't -- it usually goes straight from mailbox to circular file, resting on the desk for a couple of days in between)

Hey, if that's the case, feel free to transfer the subscription to me! I like that silly rag for some reason.
posted by aaron at 10:58 PM on October 30, 2000



I'll occasionally flip through Business 2.0 or Red Herring, just to see what the in-charge type people are reading and or thinking. It's an interestingly different mindset. 'Course, I never did manage to make it all the way through the issue of Fast Company or the issue of Red Herring I actually paid money for. :-)
posted by cCranium at 5:46 AM on October 31, 2000


Aaron: the Plan of Merger provides in Section 1.7 for conversion of About.com employee stock options into Primedia stock options.

Because it's about 2.5 Primedia options for each About option, if you had an option to buy 20,000 shares of BOUT at $40 a share, you would after the merger have the right to buy 50,000 shares of Primedia at $16. All of your vesting and exercise conditions would stay the same -- unless your particular option agreement has an acceleration of vesting in the case of change of control.

In other words, assuming that Primedia+About stock has as good a prognosis as About stock had alone, you're at least as well off post-merger. However, if you don't have accelerated vesting, and you're a biz dev, admin/finance/legal or salesman at About, you have to worry, since you're likely to get laid off sooner or later and thus lose your unvested options.
posted by MattD at 9:45 AM on October 31, 2000


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