AltaVista buys finance Web site Raging Bull

CMGI-owned Web portal AltaVista announces it is acquiring investing and financial site Raging Bull in a stock-for-stock exchange.

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AltaVista today announced it will acquire investing and financial site Raging Bull in a stock-for-stock exchange.

No other terms of the agreement were disclosed. Both AltaVista, a Web portal owned by CMGI, and Raging Bull, which is partly funded by CMGI, are privately held companies. CNET, the publisher of News.com, has also invested in Raging Bull.

"We believe the combination of both companies will supercharge AltaVista's already meteoric growth and provide users the best one-stop resource for financial content, community and discussion on the Internet," Stephen Killeen, Raging Bull's chief executive, said in a statement.

AltaVista and Raging Bull plan to unveil their combined offerings throughout next year but said today that they plan to offer content and community services in addition to financial services.

As online trading continues to explode, sites that offer investment information and discussion boards are also trying to capitalize on the traffic generated by the online investing boom. With the acquisition of Raging Bull, AltaVista may be trying to recreate the runaway success of Yahoo's finance site.

"With Raging Bull, we are very much positioned to be replicating the success of Yahoo," Rod Schrock, AltaVista's chief executive, said in an interview.

Raging Bull said it has more than 1.7 million unique users who participate in almost 10,000 discussion boards, adding that its community has tripled in size since April.

Schrock said the companies have not assigned a dollar value to the deal because as both companies are privately held, it makes it difficult to determine their combined value.

CMGI is the majority owner of AltaVista, and Compaq Computer holds a minority stake. CMGI has a reputation of arranging marriages--either outright mergers or alliances--between the Net firms it has invested in.

Shares of CMGI jumped 6.05 percent, or 8.88 points, to close at 155.5. The stock has traded as high as 170.75 and as low as 16.37 during the past 52 weeks.

The companies hope that users of AltaVista and Raging Bull will mutually benefit from the integration of services and the active exchange of investing ideas and opinions. Raging Bull plans to maintain its current site while fully integrating its complete content offering into the AltaVista money channel.

According to October Media Metrix data, this combination will make AltaVista the ninth-largest network of Web sites in terms of total page views, with more than 40 million unique users and 1.6 billion page views worldwide.