CMGI Fails at Second Lycos Buy Attempt

CMGI Inc. reportedly attempted to buy portal site Lycos Inc. for the second time recently, but history repeated itself and the deal fell through.

According to the Wall Street Journal, CMGI (CMGI) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Wetherell initiated discussions in August with Lycos (LCOS) CEO Robert Davis, offering Davis the CEO title of the proposed combined company. But talks broke down in mid-October because the two sides could not reach a valuation for Lycos.

CMGI reportedly offered a 20 percent premium over Lycos’s share price, though Lycos was looking for a 40 to 50 percent premium.

In February Lycos was the subject of merger talks with Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Inc. (TMCS), but those plans were scrapped in May, thanks in large part of Wetherell, then a director on Lycos’ board. Soon after that he referred to CMGI buying Lycos, but nothing came of that. The talks in August was the second attempt to merge the two companies.

Neither company has commented on the issue, though sources close to the story said future talks have not been ruled out. CMGI was an original investor in Lycos and currently owns 17 percent of the company.

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