With the theory of helping companies better represent themselves to
investors in light of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fair
Disclosure clause, WILink.com plc. Monday bought Webcasting specialists
Vcall and Investor Conference from Investor Broadcast Network Inc.
A departure from all-stock, all-cash, or mix-and-match deals of cash and
stock, the agreement calls for WILink to pay $5.5 million in cash up front,
with a performance-based clause maximum of $18.4 million to Feb. 28, 2003.
Any subsequent earn-out would be paid in cash or WILink stock, at the
discretion of WILink’s directors.
Vcall provides free access to live and archived streaming audio Webcasts.
WILink clients, such as investor relations managers and firms, will be able
to stream events such as quarterly earnings calls, annual shareholder
meetings and press conferences on mergers or product announcements.
Similar to Vcall, but a bit more tailored for the investment-side,
InvestorConference.com offers investment banks, brokerages and industry
associations access to Webcasts of their seminars, conferences, investor
presentations, interactive e-mail Q and A and expert commentary.
WILink plans to run both services as part of its new wholly-owned
subsidiary, Vcall Inc. Monday’s deal approaches a more important chore for
public companies than just disseminating useful data: the idea of disclosing
their financials to investors quite clearly through the use of Webcasting is
vital for addressing “fair disclosure” rules.
J. Patrick Galleher, chief operating officer of WILink’s parent firm World
Investor Link Inc, cited the increasing use of Webcasting to comply with the
Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Fair Disclosure (Regulation FD)
“We see this acquisition as a major cornerstone of World Investor Link’s
strategy of introducing well-informed investors to public companies through
the Internet and leading financial publications, while helping companies
implement customized Webcasting solutions to meet the requirements of
Regulation FD,” Galleher said. “Vcall.com and InvestorConference.com both
help their clients avoid making selective disclosure by making public
disclosure accessible to all investors.”
The National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) said shortly before
Regulation FD went into effect last November that over 60 percent of the
more than 2,500 companies represented by its members use Webcasting, with
another 23 percent saying they planned to do so soon.
World Investor Link offers The Annual Reports Service and The Fund Info
Service through relationships with financial publications and Web sites like
The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, The Globe and Mail, Yahoo! Finance and