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ScreamingMedia Buys Inlumen; Changes Name

Content syndicator ScreamingMedia , looking for an edge in the financial services vertical, has purchased fellow content aggregator Inlumen for about $2.6 million.

The deal ends speculation about whether the two information aggregators would merge amid a consolidating market for Web-based content syndication. In addition, both companies are weathering a financial services vertical where falling profits and battered markets have created a difficult selling environment.

ScreamingMedia also said it has changed its name to Pinnacor as part of the cash and stock deal for Inlumen. The name change represents the company's efforts to reposition itself as it shifts from its roots as a content aggregator for external Web sites, and fortifies its position providing syndication products and applications to corporate intranets in the financial services industry. Financial services customers now represent about 70 percent of the company's revenues.

"That's our primary market and we want to continue to expand there," said Kirk Loevner, president and CEO of the New York-based Pinnacor. The purchase of Inlumen nets the company about 58 new financial services customers.

"Inlumen brings us a highly desirable set of customers, and we will provide a smooth transition for them. They can expect to receive superior service and client support and have access to a broader set of products. We look forward to having them on board with us."

Inlumen, originally known as NewsAlert before those assets were spun off in a sale two years ago, has deep contacts in the financial services vertical. The company's founder, Laurent Ohana, had 15 years of experience as a corporate attorney for financial clients before founding Inlumen. (Ohana will not be among the 15 or so Inlumen employees that will join Pinnacor as part of the acquisition, a company official said.)

Inlumen originally made a name for itself with its alerting technology that, among other things, helps users track news and information about a competitor or a number of companies in a variety of presentation formats.

Pinnacor originally built a business syndicating content to a wide swath of dot-com content plays, a base that evaporated when the tech bubble burst. Since then, the company has made progress shifting into providing content and applications for corporate intranets, especially with financial services clients.

Its purchase of Stockpoint for $21.5 million last year was pivotal in that transition. The purchase brought a range of customized investment analysis applications, as well as blue chip financial services clients, under the company's roof.

In addition, Pinnacor has been diversifying its business lines by moving into wireless content syndication deals, which company officials say represent about 10 percent of its revenue base.

Could the Inlumen purchase help Pinnacor reach profitability by year's end? That's the plan, company officials said. At the very least, the assets could help Pinnacor continue writing the new chapter on its eight-year-old life, which was threatened two years ago when many of its dot-com clients went away. The company has since reinvented itself as a provider of content and information applications to enterprise customers' intranets in addition to its historical business piping content to external Web sites.

The deal could also help Pinnacor keep up with its main competition, financial data provider BigCharts.com, which is part-owned by CBS and media giant Pearson under their stake in MarketWatch.com.

Pinnacor's customers include Barclays Global Investors, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray, The Boeing Company, Tribune Media Services and Verizon Wireless.