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Founder picks adviser for PointCast bid

PointCast founder Chris Hassett says he has hired investment banker Sands Brothers & Company in his effort to bid on the company he created.

PointCast founder Chris Hassett today said he has hired investment banker Sands Brothers & Company in his effort to bid on the company he created.

As previously reported by CNET, the former PointCast chief executive will use Sands as a financial adviser and investor.

Sands, based in New York, is an international banking and securities firm that serves high-net worth investors, institutional money managers, and corporations. The firm targets high-growth industries and isolates those companies that it believes are misunderstood or under-followed by Wall Street.

"Chris's reputation in the Internet industry is perhaps the greatest asset in this transaction. We are confident in our ability to help him quickly achieve his goals," Steven Sands, cochairman of the investment bank, said in a statement.

Hassett is among a number of potential investors who are interested in PointCast, a PointCast spokeswoman said. Other potential investors include at least two players in the Internet space who hold a portfolio of companies that may be complementary to PointCast, sources said.

In an earlier interview, Hassett said his investment team this week would begin reviewing PointCast's financial books, and he expects to make a decision in the next two weeks as to whether to move forward in making an investment in the company.

Hassett, whose family already holds more than a 20 percent stake in PointCast, would seek a controlling interest in the company. The founder also noted that his team is willing to pay more than $15 million for its stake.

PointCast, which recently cut a third of its workforce and is refocusing its business, previously announced that it would seek $15 million to $20 million from either investors or a buyer. The struggling company is seeking to fund its new focus after a consortium of telcos canceled its plans to buy the company and later take it public.

Hassett, who founded push technology pioneer PointCast in 1992, was ousted as chief executive in June 1997, as the company changed direction.

The former PointCast executive said he would be interested in taking the company's assets and making it more Web-centric by allowing users to access its content via a browser, rather than forcing them to download the information through a client.

He said media companies would be interested in a retooled PointCast, and he already has worked toward lining up a management team with a publishing background.