CMGI to acquire AltaVista from Compaq

Five days after confirming acquisition negotiations, Compaq has officially announced that it is selling a majority stake in AltaVista to CMGI, the Internet operating company.

The deal involves future collaboration between CMGI and Compaq's research labs and business units to work on new Internet technologies, and will leave Compaq as CMGI's largest outside shareholder. AltaVista is a top Internet portal and search site.

Under terms of the deal, CMGI will have an 83 per cent equity ownership in AltaVista.

Compaq acquired AltaVista last year when it bought Digital Equipment. It spun off the AltaVista site as a separate subsidiary in January of this year, announcing plans to go public with AltaVista. But rumours that Compaq would sell AltaVista began to spring up soon after the Digital merger. Analysts said last week that Compaq's negotiations with CMGI were the result of the Houston-based computer maker's financial woes.

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