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Screaming Media Buys Its Way Into Financial Industry

Screaming Media, aiming to become a mainstay for financial firms, buys Stockpoint.
Trying to get a foothold in financial services, Internet content-distribution company Screaming Media Inc. is buying Stockpoint, which sells online and wireless investment-analysis tools and market information.

Through the deal, valued at $21.6 million and subject to shareholder approval, Screaming Media would gain entry to businesses like brokerages and mutual-fund companies. The company wants to become a mainstay for financial firms, bundling its news content with Stockpoint's custom services including stock quotes, mutual-fund charting, portfolio tracking, and investment and financial guidance. Stockpoint also builds and hosts sites, an ability that Screaming Media has so far lacked in the financial industry.

Screaming Media collects licensed text, video, and audio feeds from more than 3,000 publications, then filters, delivers, and integrates it into its customers' Web and wireless services.

Screaming Media would acquire all outstanding shares of Stockpoint in exchange for about 4.1 million shares of ScreamingMedia stock; 350,000 warrants with an exercise price of $6.00; and $1.1 million in cash. Screaming Media also would retire $6 million of Stockpoint's debt and repay $5.9 million of its debentures. The deal is expected to close in late August.