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eToys Sells BabyCenter

Healthcare products giant Johnson & Johnson has acquired BabyCenter Inc. from the defunct eToys Inc. for $10 million in cash.

BabyCenter.com is a resource for expectant and new mothers and fathers; the family of associated sites also includes ParentCenter.com and BabyCentre.co.uk.

The BabyCenter Store was not a part of the transaction, and will be temporarily closed, J&J said.

BabyCenter's advertising business and all other site activity, including health and parenting articles, e-mail newsletters, and its online community, will continue to operate independently, J&J said.

BabyCenter will be part of Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. and will remain based in San Francisco, CA. J&J said it expects to retain and add to the current staff.

eToys said last Monday that it plans to file for bankruptcy protection in the next five to 10 days. The company said its has enough cash to maintain operations through March 31 at the latest.

eToys, saying its stock is essentially worthless, said it expects to close the eToys.com Web site around March 8 and will then focus its efforts on winding down its business and liquidating its assets.

Johnson & Johnson, with approximately 98,500 employees, is a manufacturer of health care products, as well as a provider of related services, for the consumer, pharmaceutical and professional markets. Johnson & Johnson has 194 operating companies in 51 countries around the world.

"Johnson & Johnson was attracted to the superior content and personalized relationship that BabyCenter, as the leading online parenting brand, has created with millions of parents from conception through childhood," said Christian Koffmann, worldwide chairman of the consumer and personal care group at Johnson & Johnson.



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