RealTime IT News

Zapata Kills Net Subsidiaries

Zapata Corp., a fish oil and meat-casings company skeptical analysts say jumped into the dot-com game too late, Tuesday closed the e-doors on two of its Net companies, portal Zap.com and sports site Charged Productions Inc.

Zap.com, which consists of the ZapNetwork, said it is currently reviewing the future direction of its operations, but is unclear yet about what to do. Sports site Charged Productions plans to cease operations because of Zapata's decision to exit this industry.

Through September 30, 2000, Zap.com and Charged Productions had accounted for almost $5.7 million of Zapata's consolidated net losses for the nine months then ended.

In the future, Zap.com and Charge Productions will be reported as discontinued operations. As a result, Zapata expects to record a one-time charge in the range of approximately $1.7 to $3.2 million for the year.

Zapata is the brainchild of former U.S. President George Bush, who forged the firm as an oil production company in 1953. He sold his interest in 1966 and the company fell in to the hands of Avram Glazer and his family, who redirected it into the foods business.

Three years ago, the firm tried to leap into the Net game, by unsuccessfully trying to buy Excite for $1.68 billion in May 1998. In October of that year, Zapata agreed to buy or invest in as much as 31 Web sites, to emulate and compete with Yahoo and Excite, but later backed off.

Houston-based Zapata is the largest shareholder of Zap.com Corp. Zapata also owns approximately 61 percent of stock of Omega Protein, the largest marine protein company and approximately 40 percent of food packager Viskase.