Disney Agrees to Purchase Infoseek, Forms go.com

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Entertainment media titan Walt Disney Co., Burbank, CA, agreed to buy the 58 percent of Infoseek Corp. it doesn't already own this week and will combine the portal with its Buena Vista Internet unit to form a new company called go.com.


Infoseek shareholders will get 1.15 shares of go.com for each of their Infoseek shares. Given Disney's current 42 percent ownership of Infoseek and its contribution of slightly more than half the assets to the new enterprise, Disney will own about 72 percent of go.com.


Further terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Neither company discussed detailed commerce plans for go.com, but both said they expect the company to have about $350 million in revenue in its first fiscal year. The Go Network includes numerous e-commerce outlets, including the ESPN Store Online, Disney's store and its online travel service. It also includes several content sites.


Of the forecast revenue, $200 million is to be Net-related, with the balance coming from the Disney catalog. The company folded the catalog operations into go.com to provide ready-made product sourcing, fulfillment and customer service.


Earlier this year, Infoseek and Disney formed an alliance to launch the Go Network, a portal designed to compete with Yahoo Inc., Lycos Inc. and America Online Inc. Disney shareholders and non-Disney Infoseek shareholders must approve the deal before it can close The new company will be publicly traded, Disney said.
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