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Thomson agrees to acquire NewsEdge for $43 million.

The Thomson Corp. (Toronto, ON) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire NewsEdge, Inc. (Burlington, MA). Under terms of the agreement, a newly formed Thomson subsidiary will make a cash tender offer for all the shares of NewsEdge common stock at a price of $2.30 per share, or $43 million. Shares of NewsEdge have been trading under $2 since March 2000 and have traded for as little as $0.98.

Closing is expected to be completed before the end of the year and is conditioned on the tender of a majority of NewsEdge shares. All company officers and directors, as well as a number of major holders, have promised to tender their shares.

NewsEdge is a provider of online content and related solutions for business. Its customers include content creators and Web site operators. The company offers technology and services to enable clients to create, manage and deploy content distributed through enterprise sites, portals, publisher Web sites, and related channels. Its NewsEdge Refinery service delivers targeted news on more than 2000 business topics from more than 2000 sources. Neither NewsEdge, which claims 1500 clients, nor its predecessors, have ever been profitable. Last year, the company lost $10 million on revenues of $70.9 million. NewsEdge was formed in early 1998 through the merger of Individual Inc. and Desktop Data in a stock deal valued at $85 million. Individual was established in 1989 and Desktop Data in 1988.

Thomson plans to align the acquired company with The Dialog Corp. (Cary, NC), a provider of online information services for a variety of markets as part of the Thomson Legal & Regulatory unit. NewsEdge will continue to be run by current management.

NewsEdge abandoned plans to merge with Rowecom Inc. (Cambridge, MA) in March after NewsEdge investors complained about the steep decline in the value of Rowecom stock. Under terms of that merger, Rowecom, which manages magazine and newspaper subscriptions online, would have exchanged 26 shares of stock for each share of NewsEdge. When the deal was announced in December 2000, it was valued at $227 million. When it was cancelled in March, the deal was worth $113 million.
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Title Annotation:Thomson Corp.
Comment:Thomson agrees to acquire NewsEdge for $43 million.(Thomson Corp.)
Publication:Business Publisher
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 15, 2001
Words:356
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