Issue: Directory Service Shaves Two Years
Off Pan-Europe Timetable
expected, Scoot.com has acquired Loot.com, a U.K.-based online classified
and auction site. The transaction involves roughly 178 pounds ($269 million)
in cash, to be financed by Scoot's benefactor, Vivendi, which is issuing
70 million new shares of Scoot stock and exercising existing warrants.
In addition, Scoot will assume two million pounds ($3 million) in Loot
debt and will issue five million Scoot shares to Loot's supplier creditors.
Scoot claims that sales have accelerated
since the launch of its Version 2 service. Nonetheless, its latest financial
statements reflect a decline in overall revenues, which management attributes
to a change in its business model from fixed to "value-based" pricing.
Net losses have stabilized, but persist in spite of the fact that usage
of Scoot's Internet and voice platforms are on the rise.
Scoot also announced plans to move up its
timetable for establishing a "pan-European infomediary network" by two
years to 2003, thanks to its new pricing model and new acquisition.