IAR Bits and Bytes

Uncommon Media Group to Acquire TMC Media

Alley-based Uncommon Media Group, Inc. said Monday that it has inked a letter of intent to purchase TMC Media. Terms were not disclosed.

The deal aims to merge two players that focus heavily on developing compact disc-based interactive marketing. TMC’s services include Web and wireless development, CD-ROM production and design, which it has performed for clients including IBM, Bristol Myers Squibb and American Express. Meanwhile, UMGi creates CDs that include clients’ interactive demonstrations, advergames and digital video infomercials.

“TMC’s production and technology capabilities will allow UMGi to provide a new level of products and services to our valued clients,” said Uncommon Media Group chief executive Lawrence Gallo. “TMC’s background in Software development, creative design, CD production and media, allows UMGi to Offer full comprehensive new media solutions to our targeted markets.”

Compaq Aims for Golfing Set

Houston-based PC manufacturer Compaq is tapping Curtis Strange, captain of the 2001 U.S. Ryder Cup team, to promote the company and its iPAQ wireless device.

Strange will provide exclusive online updates on this year’s major tournaments leading up to and during the Ryder Cup Tournament, which runs from September 24 to 30. These regular postings will be available on the Web at www.compaq.com/curtisstrange.

Additionally, fans can also send questions directly to Strange via email through his Compaq Web page. One question each week will be selected and answered by Strange, while all the submissions are entered into a sweepstakes.

From June 26 through the end of October, Compaq will award up to 20 fans who submit questions with an iPAQ PocketPC-powered PDA.

The site also features links to the PGA Tour’s home page and Compaq’s iPAQ Pocket PC Web page. Throughout the summer, additional promotions and features will appear on the Curtis Strange page, such as a forthcoming golf sweepstakes for customers of Compaq’s DirectPlus catalog, which offers Compaq products and services to small and medium businesses.

Earnings, Headcount Woes at Sapient

Web consultancy and designer Sapient said it would miss analysts’ estimates for second quarter by a penny

To cut recurring costs, Cambridge, Mass.-based Sapient said it planned to lay off 390 employees, or 14 percent of its workforce. Most of the cuts will come from the company’s North American office, while the firm added that it plans to substantially increase its operations in India, where Web development labor is cheaper.

Additionally, the company said it planned to exit the console game development business. (The firm is a licensed developer of several current and upcoming consoles, including the Game Boy Advance.)

Sapient said it would take a restructuring, severance and office space consolidation charge of approximately $50 million, most of which will be incurred in the third quarter. The company expects cost savings from these actions of approximately $13 million beginning that third quarter, and $60 million on an annualized basis.

Meanwhile, Sapient said it expects second quarter 2001 revenues of approximately $87 million and a pro forma loss of $0.07 per share, versus consensus estimates of $90 million in revenues and a pro forma loss of $0.06 per share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. The company did not give guidance for future periods.

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