Thursday April 29, 8:32 am Eastern
Company Press Release
SOURCE: MarketWatch.com, Inc.
MarketWatch.com, Inc. Agrees to Acquire BigCharts Inc. in a $166
BigCharts Acquisition to Strengthen MarketWatch.com's
Position as a Leading Web Site for Comprehensive, Real-Time
Business News, Financial Programming and Analytic Tools
SAN FRANCISCO, April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- MarketWatch.com, Inc.
- news) today announced it has
signed a definitive agreement to acquire BigCharts Inc., one of
the top-ten trafficked financial sites and an industry-leading
provider of objective, data-driven online financial content for
self-directed investors. The transaction is valued at
approximately $160 million in stock and $6 million in cash.
The acquisition will enable MarketWatch.com to increase the
number and quality of financial tools it provides investors,
enhancing its position as a leading, branded web site for
comprehensive, real-time business news and financial programming.
BigCharts will be able to integrate MarketWatch.com's
proprietary real-time news and commentary into the BigCharts
suite of products that it markets to its customers, including
many of the major online brokers and financial services companies
it serves. BigCharts provides content to 7 of the top 10 online
brokers, and through those partnerships and others, its content
is available to approximately 80% of all online investors.
``We believe that BigCharts is one of the best in the business
at producing useful, attractive and efficient tools for investors,''
said MarketWatch.com President and CEO Larry Kramer. ``They add
value to information through packaging and interactive tools.
MarketWatch.com, on the other hand, produces the fastest and best
financial news on the Internet. Both of us are at the top of the
game, and we believe that each of us can contribute exactly what
the other needs to be even better. By combining these businesses
we have the opportunity to create a dominant company by
substantially increasing our audience reach and pursuing multiple
``BigCharts' objective is to be the leader in providing online
financial content to self-directed investors by delivering
objective, data-driven content rich in visual design and
interactivity,'' said Philip D. Hotchkiss, President and CEO,
BigCharts Inc. ``As a company, we have been very successful in
meeting our objective. We have built and hold an audience
approaching 1 million unique monthly users at http://www.BigCharts.com (according
to Media Metrix), established a broad network of content
distribution partners and built close relationships with the
market leaders in online brokerage, financial publishing and
portals. Under the CBS.MarketWatch.com
umbrella, we have the opportunity to leverage their distribution
and reach to broaden the services we provide to our content
licensing clients and to enhance the user experience at BigCharts.com.''
Under the agreement, MarketWatch.com, Inc. will exchange
approximately 2,175,000 shares of its common stock (including
shares issuable upon exercise of assumed BigCharts options), and
pay $6 million in cash in exchange for all outstanding BigCharts
Inc.'s securities. The acquisition, which has been approved by
both companies' Boards of Directors, is subject to customary
conditions including approval by BigCharts' stockholders. The
deal is expected to close within 30 to 60 days. MarketWatch.com,
Inc. will account for this transaction under the purchase method
of accounting. BigCharts Inc. will retain its key management and
be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary of MarketWatch.com, Inc.
In addition to continuing to serve as BigCharts' President and
CEO, Philip Hotchkiss will join MarketWatch.com's Board of
About MarketWatch.com, Inc.
MarketWatch.com, Inc., http://cbs.marketwatch.com
- news) is a leading Web-based
provider of comprehensive, real-time business news, financial
programming and analytic tools. The editorial team contributes
financial and economic reports to national CBS radio news feeds,
CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER, and CBS News' THIS MORNING.
MarketWatch.com was launched in October 1997, as a joint venture
between CBS Broadcasting Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS
Corporation (NYSE: CBS - news), and Data Broadcasting Corporation,
http://www.dbc.com, (Nasdaq: DBCC - news), the country's leading provider
of real-time financial and market information for the individual
investor. CBS and DBC are controlling stockholders of MarketWatch.com.
MarketWatch.com is headquartered in San Francisco and has bureaus
in New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, London and Tokyo.
About BigCharts Inc.
BigCharts, Inc., based in Minneapolis, is a leading provider
of licensed online financial charting content to electronic
brokers, financial publishers and portals. Based on Media Metrix
data, its Internet site, BigCharts.com, is one of the most
popular financial destination sites on the web. It receives
critical acclaim for design, ease of use and depth of
functionality. In addition, the company designs, produces and
markets interactive financial charting products to institutional
clients in the online brokerage, online publishing, Internet
portal, and online Finance industries.
Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant
to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned that such
forward-looking statements involve significant risks and
uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in
the forward-looking statements due to a number of factors,
including and without limitation: (i) risks to the merger, such
as, risks that the proposed merger may not be consummated, risks
involved in assimilating BigCharts, risks involved in integrating,
retaining and motivating key BigCharts personnel, risks related
to integrating and managing geographically-dispersed operations,
risks related to integrating the technologies and infrastructures
of the companies, and risks related to the acceptance by
BigCharts' brokerage customers of the merger; (ii) risks inherent
in BigCharts' business, such as, its dependence on short-term
customer contracts, its dependence on a small number of customers
for a significant portion of its revenues, its dependence on
maintaining relationships with key customers, and the extremely
limited operating history of BigCharts on which to base any
revenue projections; (iii) risks to MarketWatch.com of the
increased negative cash flow and increased operating expenses
arising out of, among other items, the proposed BigCharts merger;
(iv) the risk that BigCharts customers and distribution partners
will not utilize any additional services of the combined company;
(v) risks related to the achievement of new revenue to
MarketWatch.com from the BigCharts operations; and (vi) risks
relating to MarketWatch.com's ongoing operations as detailed in
MarketWatch.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange
Commission. In particular, see the risk factors described in
MarketWatch.com's Form S-1 Registration Statement for its initial
public offering (SEC File Number 333-65569), and in its Form 10-K/A
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 1998. MarketWatch.com does
not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking
information contained in this press release.
SOURCE: MarketWatch.com, Inc.