Tech Industry

VerticalNet squashes Ventro rumors

There's nothing planned with Ventro (Nasdaq: VNTR), VerticalNet (Nasdaq: VERT) said Tuesday.

After market close Tuesday, VerticalNet squashed rumors that it would buy Ventro, an incubator of business-to-business marketplaces online. Ventro stock rose to a closing high of 17.875 at one point last week, at least partly on speculation that it would be acquired by VerticalNet.

But VerticalNet, which invests in online B2B companies, on Tuesday said there "is not, and has not been, in any discussions with Ventro Corporation regarding a possible merger or other business combination."

Shares of Ventro traded at 16.875 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, following VerticalNet's announcement. Ventro stock closed Tuesday's regular trading at 16.75, up 0.625 for the session.

VerticalNet shares were at 46.75 in Island's afterhours trading.

Although VerticalNet's standard policy is not to comment on rumors, the company said it made Tuesday's announcement in response to media reports and "repeated requests" for information.

VerticalNet stock closed Tuesday's regular trading at 46.5625, down 0.3125 for the session.>