First Virtual Holdings to Acquire Email Publishing Inc.

First Virtual Holdings Inc., a provider of advanced messaging systems for Internet commerce, said that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Email Publishing Inc..

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the stockholders of both companies, will involve the exchange of approximately 6 million common shares of First Virtual. The transaction is expected to close early in the fourth quarter. First Virtual closed at $3.875, making the deal worth about $23 million if it were to close now.

Email Publishing markets message delivery, including ads, and email subscription management services to publishers and other corporate customers.

“The acquisition of Email Publishing is an important step in our strategy to position First Virtual as a single source for our customers’ interactive messaging needs,” said Keith S. Kendrick, president of First Virtual. “Together, we will be able to provide a wider range of services to our customers. Our combined resources will improve our efficiency and marketplace reach. Email Publishing’s world class outbound messaging technology complements our proven reply processing capabilities.”

“Email Publishing’s customers will benefit from the ability to add transactive messaging through First Virtual’s Interactive Messaging Platform,” said Andrew Currie, president of Email Publishing. “Combining our extensive experience in the publishing and software publishing fields with First Virtual’s focus on the financial services, travel, and catalog industries is a natural fit.”

On Aug. 3, Email Publishing announced an agreement with Centrobe to offer email magazine renewal services to Centrobe’s extensive roster of magazine publishing clients. Also, Email Publishing recently announced a partnership with I/PRO to offer I/PRO’s Email I/AUDIT service to its client base.

Email Publishing clients include CMP Media, PennWell Publishing, Miller Freeman, Cahners Publishing, Intuit and GeoCities.

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