YouthStream Media to Exit 2 Businesses

YouthStream Media Networks, an Alley-based integrated media and marketing services company targeting teens and young adults, late Friday disclosed its board has decided to discontinue two of its operating subsidiaries: its online community site called “sixdegrees” and its ASP business known as Sodalis.

YouthStream Media purchased the sixdegrees site in January. The community site was founded on the premise popularized by the play “Six Degrees of Separation” that everyone is separated from each other by six degrees. But the company now admits that those “significant” investments were made “when the online advertising market was growing dramatically and the capital markets for online investment were robust.”

“However, in light of the recent deterioration in market conditions and the Company’s focus on near-term profitability, its Board of Directors deemed further investments in these online properties inappropriate,” the company said in its press release.
It will continue to operate its website which it termed as “successful.”

YouthStream Media said it expects to shut down the sixdegrees subsidiary by Dec. 31. The company said “appropriate” work force reductions have been made but didn’t provide specific details in its press release.

Meanwhile, YouthStream Media said it is seeking to sell the Sodalis business to venture capitalists or others willing to invest in developing the business. As a result, the Company plans to take a one-time charge in the second quarter of fiscal year 2001, ending Dec. 31, 2000, estimated to be in the range of $150-165 million almost all associated with writing down the goodwill related to these businesses.

Sodalis’ ASP platform includes the best of the technology purchased by the company in its acquisitions of CommonPlaces LLC, College Web and Invino. However, having determined that Sodalis is not aligned with its long-term vision and strategy, the Company has decided to seek to sell its interest in this business.

YouthStream stated that the one-time charge is composed of the unamortized portion of the purchase price, or goodwill, of these companies as well as small amounts of related fixed assets and accrued expenses. The actual amount of the charge will be determined when the Company establishes a valuation for the Sodalis business prior to the reporting of its second-quarter financial results.

The company stock on Friday closed at 1-1/2.

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