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CMGI to acquire software developer Equilibrium

The Internet investment company plans to acquire Equilibrium in an effort to expedite content production throughout its network of Web holdings.

Internet investment company CMGI said it will acquire Sausalito, Calif.-based Equilibrium in an effort to expedite content production throughout its network of Web holdings.

With the acquisition, which is expected to close in January 2000, Equilibrium will become a majority-owned CMGI operating company.

With Equilibrium, CMGI is looking to beef up it content delivery infrastructure throughout its network of Web sites. Equilibrium develops software that automates the way sites publish and update content.

"This acquisition will provide benefits to Equilibrium while offering state-of-the-art content infrastructure technologies to companies across the CMGI and @Ventures network," David Wetherell, chief executive of CMGI, said in a statement.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Equilibrium will join a list of new operating companies acquired, or soon-to-be acquired, by CMGI this year, such as Web portal AltaVista, free ISP 1stUp.com, ad network AdForce and instant messaging software developer Tribal Voice. CMGI also holds minority stakes in companies within the investment portfolio of @Ventures, the company's venture capital subsidiary.

CMGI invests in or acquires companies in hopes of taking them public or selling them. CMGI recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take AltaVista public. The company is also mulling public offerings for 1stUp, personalization portal MyWay.com, private label Internet access provider NaviNet, and @Ventures, Wetherell recently said in an earnings call.

CMGI has also placed a considerable bet on turning AltaVista into a major portal to compete with leaders in the industry, such as Yahoo and America Online. CMGI in the fall unveiled a $120 million consumer advertising blitz for AltaVista.

The acquisition comes more than a week after influential Merrill Lynch Internet analyst Henry Blodget set a $300 a share price target for CMGI's stock.

"CMGI's stock tends to trade as a proxy for the health of the Internet sector," Blodget wrote in his analyst note to investors.