Lycos to Be Acquired by India’s Ybrant Digital

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Ybrant Digital, a digital marketing company in India, said on Monday that it has signed a stock purchase agreement to acquire Lycos from Daum Communications of South Korea for US$36 million.

The cash acquisition will help Ybrant offer Lycos' properties, including its search engine, to the company's network of advertisers, Suresh Reddy, Ybrant's chairman and CEO, said in a telephone interview on Monday. "It will significantly enhance our search marketing business," he added.

Ybrant, with revenue of $70 million in the Indian fiscal year to March 31, 2010, claims exclusive rights with Microsoft in parts of South America, and Yahoo in Ukraine to sell advertising from their properties in these regions.

"We help U.S. websites sell their international traffic to advertisers," Reddy said. The company buys website traffic, and in turn sells it to advertisers, he added.

Its technology also ensures that the company can offer targeted advertising in a large number of countries to advertisers, according to Reddy.

The acquisition of Lycos will give Ybrant better leverage with advertisers, as it will now have the media sites from Lycos to offer advertisers, Reddy said. Lycos' search will also help the company diversify from its current portfolio which consists primarily of banner advertisements, he added.

As a result of the sale of Lycos, Daum will be able to devote its energy and corporate resources to core domestic businesses including search, mobile services and map, the Internet services portal said in a statement.

Daum acquired Lycos in 2004 from Terra Networks for $95 million. It reorganized the business of Lycos in 2009 and has turned it profitable, it said in the statement.

Lycos offers search and mail services through its Lycos site. Its Hotbot site is a frontend to other search engines. It also offers a variety of other services including web site building and hosting through its Angelfire and Tripod services.

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