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Lycos CEO to sell 60,000 shares

No one has emerged to buy the Web directory, but during the stock's run-up Robert Davis files to sell shares worth $5.5 million.

No one has emerged to buy out Lycos, industry rumors notwithstanding, but a seller of the stock has appeared during this month's steep run-up of the Internet directory's shares: Lycos chief executive Robert J. Davis.

According to a new regulatory filing, Davis intends to sell 60,000 shares of Lycos stock valued at $5.5 million.

Davis could not be reached for comment.

Davis's planned sale of Lycos shares--disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission "144" filing from late this month--comes amid a sharp upturn in the Waltham, Massachusetts, company's stock price. The spike has been partly fueled by rumors that all or part of Lycos may be up for sale. Would-be investors have included Microsoft, Time Warner, CBS, and Bertelsmann, among others.

The Internet issue has risen almost 90 percent in January alone. Speculation about Lycos' future increased in the wake of last week's buyout of Excite by @Home for $7.5 billion--a hefty premium.

In a speech today, Davis said Lycos preferred to remain independent.

Davis will still hold a large amount of his Lycos stock, according to regulatory filings.

He holds 349,475 shares, according to the latest proxy statement, dated in November. This includes 2,875 shares held by Davis and options to acquire an additional 346,600 shares, which are exercisable or become exercisable within 60 days. Davis also holds options to buy 556,400 shares of stock, which becomes exercisable after 60 days.