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The Kelsey Report® Advisory

Scoot.com Faces 'Strategic Review'
Charles Laughlin , 3/29/2001

Issue: Challenges from Losses Won't Deter European Expansion

News: In the face of growing losses, European online directory Scoot.com has retained Merrill Lynch to help it conduct a "strategic review." Its options presumably would include, but not be limited to, a sale or merger. Recently, Scoot has been a rumored takeover target; the company had to deny it was in talks with the Meridian group of investors led by Hong Kong entrepreneur Richard Li, head of Pacific Century CyberWorks.

Last week, Scoot.com announced earnings for the five quarters spanning September 1999 through December 2000 (the odd reporting period reflects a change in the company's fiscal year). The company posted an EBITDA loss of $66.6 million on revenues of $39 million, including its share of a joint venture in Belgium with Vivendi. For the full year 1999, which ended September 30, Scoot lost about $28.7 million on revenues of $27.3 million.

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