As I had speculated in an earlier post before any news organization, South Korea-based Daum Communications has confirmed it is the winning bidder for Barcelona, Spain-based Terra Networks’ Lycos Inc. division. The boards of directors of both Terra and Daum have reportedly agreed to the sale. All that remains is haggling over the exact price and other contractual niceties, according to this report from CNET Networks’ Silicon.com property.
The price is said to be in the range of $95 and $115 million U.S., above Lycos’ assessed book value of $90 million. Still, it’s considerably less than the all-stock $12.5 billion merger deal that combined Terra and Lycos into what was promised as “one global Internet powerhouse” in May 2000. Instead, four years later, Terra has had to write down almost $12.4 billion from the merger. Moreover, the Lycos portal is a second-tier, has-been Web portal that isn’t even in the top 10 most visited properties according to the June Web traffic reports from Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Networks.
It’s worth noting that Terra’s 32.1 stake in Lycos Europe, a completely separate entity, is not part of the deal. However, here’s a look at the loot Daum takes back with it on the boat back to South Korea: Angelfire, Gamesville, HotBot, Lycos Mail, Lycos People Search, Matchmaker, Quote.com, Raging Bull, Sonique, Tripod, both Wired magazine and Wired News, plus numerous Lycos branded, targeted e-commerce Web sites.
Very interesting, indeed.