The deal--announced at a gathering of eGroups employees--calls for OneList to own 57 percent of the new company's stock and San Francisco-based eGroups to own 43 percent, according to sources who attended the meeting. OneList's chief executive Michael Klein will head the new company, which will retain the eGroups name.
OneList and eGroups provide email applications for small groups--such as businesses, families, or universities--that allow them to create group email addresses. The new company will continue to run eGroups's and OneList's home pages and services independently.
OneList sent emails to group leaders, or "moderators," which said the sites will eventually be combined but did not give a date. "There will be no changes to either service for the near term," the emails stated.
Combined, the company will have 13 million unique members and service 1.3 billion emails a month, Klein said in an interview. Both companies make money primarily through selling advertising to its membership.
Klein said he approached eGroups management two weeks ago with a merger proposal. "It was very clear to me that there were two strong players and several third-place players in this category," he said. "To get into a position to be an undisputed category leader, this deal made so much sense."
Sequoia Capital executive Michael Moritz has run eGroups on an interim basis since September, when chief executive Martin Roscheisen stepped down.
During the meeting yesterday, it also was announced that eGroups chief technology officer Scott Hassan is leaving to pursue other opportunities.