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Dow Jones, Excite@Home Spin Off Business Portal

Excite@Home's service portal Work.com got promoted Tuesday to its own company, which will be jointly owned by Excite@Home and Dow Jones & Co., with plans to go public later this year.

Work.com was launched in September on Excite@Home's (ATHM) network, and has operated as a comprehensive resource for the small and medium business-to-business market. It features vertical industry content, communities and customized business applications.

Under Tuesday's agreement, Excite@Home and Dow Jones (DJ) will now each have a 50 percent joint ownership stake in Work.com and equal representation on its board of directors. The partners anticipate equally offering a minority of the shares to the public through an initial public offering later this year, business and market conditions permitting.

Dow Jones will integrate its proprietary content from the Wall Street Journal and its dowjones.com business portal into Work.com. The combination will provide business professionals with pertinent information they need to stay informed and competitive within their industry, and with applications and tools they need to manage their businesses, said George Bell, president and chief executive officer of Excite@Home.

"This is an excellent example of how we can come together with an established media company to create new value," said Bell.

"The combined assets of Excite@Home and Dow Jones position this start-up to quickly become the market leader. The increased depth of content from Dow Jones will be a strong addition to Excite.com's Business Channel."

The combined Work.com site is set to launch later this year. A CEO of Work.com will be named soon; Ezra Palmer, editorial director of dowjones.com, was named Work.com's editor-in-chief.