Another Tech Publisher in Trouble

Penton Media, the Cleveland-based magazine, trade show and online company, has been warned by the New York Stock Exchange that its share price is below the threshold for continued listing.


Penton, which has focused its products largely on the B2B channel, said it
has acknowledged receipt of the notification said it plans to remedy the
situation, although it added in a statement that “here can be no assurance,
however, that the company will be able to do so.”


The company has been severely impacted by the economic slowdown in the tech
area, and posted a second-quarter loss of a net loss of $12.1 million in the
second quarter of 2002, compared with a net loss of $5.5 million for the same
period in 2001. Revenues were $66 million, down from $106.8 million a year
earlier.

Penton is not alone. Earlier this month, Key3Media was delisted from the NYSE and said it might default on its bank debt. Ziff Davis Media has been going
through its share
of IT spend slowdown woes, too. The company recently killed its
Yahoo! Internet Life magazine after a seven-year run.

Penton Media CEO Thomas Kemp said in late July that Penton’s
second-quarter performance was strongly affected by declines in its domestic
and international trade shows serving the Internet/broadband markets.


Under NYSE guidelines, Penton must return its share price and average share
price back above $1by six months following receipt of the NYSE’s notification
or face suspension and delisting.

The company’s stock has traded for as little as 33 cents a share recently,
which the NYSE labeled “abnormally low.” The NYSE told Penton that continued
trading at this price level may require a more immediate determination on
continued listing.


Penton’s integrated media portfolio serves the following industries:
Internet/broadband; information technology; electronics; natural products;
food/retail; manufacturing; design/engineering; supply chain; aviation;
government/compliance; mechanical systems/construction; and
leisure/hospitality.


Penton was established in 1998 as a spinoff of Chicago-based Pittway Corp. and
began trading on the NYSE Aug. 10, 1998. In October of that year, Alan Meckler sold his
publicly-traded trade show and publishing company
, Mecklermedia, to
Penton for $274 million in an all-cash deal, and bought back the
Manhattan-based internet.com Web site operations, creating what eventually
became INT Media Group , parent company of
internetnews.com.

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