Mamma Looks to Seal Deal with Copernic

The on-again, off-again courtship of desktop search player Copernic by Mamma.com is on once more.

The Montreal-based search marketing provider first announced plans to acquire Copernic in November. Following an SEC investigation and a precipitous drop in Mamma’s stock price, Copernic backed out of the deal in April, just a month before it was expected to close.

“Based on further due diligence, we are now confident that Mamma.com is a strong and very well managed company. We are positive about closing this transaction which will create a new organization capable of competing with the best of breed in the search engine sector of the Internet,” Martin Bouchard, executive chairman of Copernic Technologies, said in a statement.

Terms of the stock and cash deals, either what’s on the table now or was last year, weren’t disclosed. If the current letter of intent reaches the purchase agreement stage, the deal is expected to close by late September.

“We believe the obvious synergies between both organizations will result in a company that is at the forefront of the search and on-line marketing industry. As our previous discussions resulted in a significant amount of due diligence being completed, we expect that a short update will be sufficient to move to a closing within a relatively brief time frame,” said Guy Faure, president and CEO of Mamma.com.

Mamma.com runs a meta-search engine, a paid search listings network and a pay-per-click ad network. Copernic, which offers an ad-supported version of its desktop search tool, would add that technology and distribution network to the firm. It also would bring Mamma an alliance with America Online.

AOL began offering users a beta version of Copernic-powered desktop search in December 2004, officially announcing a license deal in January. The two companies said they’d cooperate to incorporate Copernic desktop search technology in AOL Search so users could search for information online or in files on the hard drive with one application.

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