RealTime IT News

Age of Acquire-Us

First it was the flower children from Blue Mountain Arts that scraped together a modest living developing playful e-greeting cards. But, one has to wonder how underachiever Excite@Home's (ATHM) billion-dollar buyout affected the Dead Heads.

As the founders' son Jared Schuzt tells it, money hasn't changed Mom and Pop much. But, I just can't help thinking that somewhere in the Valley, there's a hippy pad on a hill with wall-to-wall shag carpeting and a tie-dye Winnebago parked out front. And it makes me smile. :-)

Now I hear the guys over at Ben & Jerry's (BJICA) have traded in their Birkenstocks for a three-piece hemp suit. Can you dig it? Unilever plc (UL) announced plans to acquire Chunky Monkey for about $326 million. That's chump change for Unilever, a company that rang up $45 billion in international sales last year, selling everything from soap to laundry detergent.

Unilever also recently announced plans to go steady with SlimFast Foods for $2.3 billion in cash. Something tells me, the Anglo-Dutch giant can find some sweet synergies between these two newly acquired brands.

DealTracker scorecard: Unilever/Ben & Jerry's

Investor sentiment A
Terms of the deal B+
Industry outlook B-
Overall scorecard B+

Also on Wednesday, iShopper.com (OTCBB: IHPR) scooped up NowSeven.com and Stinkyfeet.com. According to the press release, Stinkyfeet.com's "technology allows for the use of multiple search engines while keeping the user in the Stinkyfeet.com domain." Yeah, it's called frames. And, someone needs to tell the folks at iShopper.com they got hoodwinked and this deal plain stinks.

NowSeven.com apparently specializes in e-mail and B2B databases. The company also produces e-zines and other marketing tools. NowSeven's products are aimed at driving traffic to its customers' Web sites and enhancing online communication and marketing.

That would be super if only the kids at NowSeven actually had a Web site to speak of. Take it from me, it's an uphill battle trying to grab market share with a blank white page for a Web presence. Who are these customers NowSeven is boasting about anyway? I'm guessing Zapata.

My sources tell me NowSeven also has plans in the works to add Linux, name-your-own-price-auctions, cheap broadband Internet access, and free PCs to its list of offerings. And, I hear if you hold your breath and stare at the site's blank screen long enough you can see the makings of an Internet incubator to be unveiled later this month.

Then again, iShopper.com was