Internet Capital Group Cuts Staff, Posts Losses
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Internet Capital Group Inc. Wednesday cut its workforce by 35 percent. The layoffs were concurrent with the company's third-quarter report of a $263.9 million loss.
For the nine months ended September 30, 2000, the e-commerce company reported a loss of $98.7 million or $.36 per diluted share as compared with a loss of $6.4 million or $.03 per diluted share a year ago.
The layoffs, combined with a facilities reduction and fixed asset write-downs, are expected to counteract the downward spiral, according to Walter Buckley, president and CEO of ICG. He anticipated the moves to result in a one-time fourth quarter charge of approximately $25-30 million, of which $4-5 million will be cash.
"As ICG and the B2B market continue to grow and evolve, ICG is focusing human and capital resources on partner companies with the most potential to return near-term value for our shareholders," he said. "We are also taking decisive action to strengthen our financial position while continuing to build on our proven track record of value creation."
ICG provides operational assistance, capital support and a strategic network of business relationships intended to maximize the long-term market potential of more than 70 business-to-business e-commerce partner companies.
ICG's strategy is to acquire and build business-to-business e-commerce companies. Because many of these companies are in the early stage of their development, they have been and are expected to continue to generate losses.
ICG has completed a rigorous process to review its companies using a stringent set of criteria, according to Buckley. "This exercise has identified 15 high-potential, private companies in the U.S. in which ICG has deployed $1.7 billion of capital," he said.
"ICG will continue to support its network of private U.S. companies with an emphasis on those that are developing and close to achieving these criteria but currently fall short of one or more of these disciplined measurements," Buckley said. "Partner companies that do not meet these criteria over time, or where ICG does not own a meaningful stake, will be managed to maximize value."
The performance of these partner companies, coupled with the occasional and unplanned nature of the gains related to ICG's ownership in them, will most likely continue to result in wide fluctuations of the company's quarterly results.
"As the B2B market evolves, we intend to manage our business with a high level of financial discipline and rigor. We will maintain a solid position enabling us to support the development of our leading partner companies,'' said Ed West, chief financial officer of Internet Capital Group.
During the third quarter, the company spent a total of $120 million in cash for new name and follow-on acquisitions. Cash, short term investments and available for sale securities totaled $513.9 million at September 30, 2000, on a separate company basis.
"With more than $500 million in liquid resources at quarter end, access to multiple financing sources, and most importantly the ability to monetize non-strategic assets, we have significant financial flexibility going forward," said West.
During the quarter, ICG deployed $26.8 million of cash and $13.6 million in ICG stock on new name acquisitions, including eMarket Capital, Fuelspot, Foods Infomart, OnMedica, and Sourceree. Additionally ICG spent $93.2 million in cash and $197.8 million in ICG stock for 21 follow-on acquisitions in its existing partner companies, increasing its ownership position in many of these.