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Zap continues Net buying spree

Zapata's Internet subsidiary moves to acquire Web community Bianca Troll Productions.

Extending its Internet buying spree, Zapata announced today that Zap, its Internet subsidiary, moved to acquire Bianca Troll Productions, a Web community with an estimated 1.5 million unique users per month.

The terms for the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is subject to satisfactory due diligence and the execution of a definitive acquisition agreement.

Zapata shares were up nearly 1.5 percent at $22 in early trading. The stock has traded at a high of $24.94 and a low of $5 during the past 52 weeks.

Bianca Troll Productions, founded in 1994, offers online services that include chat, moderated discussions, email, and personal home page building.

Only a few months ago, Zapata, a marine protein and food packaging company, announced that it was splitting itself into two companies, with the newly formed Zap concentrating on Internet ventures. Zapata remains active in the food industry.

In May, Zapata tried to acquire Excite, an online search engine. Excite soundly rejected the $72-per-share unsolicited bid.

Last week, Zapata announced its intent to acquire or invest in 23 other Internet sites and e-commerce businesses in an effort to expand Zap, its Internet portal. With its grab at a 24th site, Zapata estimates Zap will be among the largest Internet sites based on the number of users if all 24 deals are consummated.