MindArrow Aims to Buy Up Radical Communication

Rich media email pioneer Radical Communication — or what’s left of it — has found a new home, pending a purchase offer from competitor MindArrow Systems.

According to the letter of intent, Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based MindArrow would snap up the technology of defunct Radical, a pioneer in the rich media email space that closed most of its operations in early June.

Under the proposed terms of the purchase, MindArrow would shell out 1.98 million shares of its common stock (worth about $2 million) and 135,000 shares of MindArrow Series C Preferred Stock (valued at about $278,100). Additionally, MindArrow is offering an unsecured subordinated promissory note in the aggregate principal amount of $1 million, payable in two annual installments of $500,000, beginning Oct. 1, 2002.

The deal is subject to approval by both companies’ boards and Radical’s stockholders, and is expected to close in early fall.

Once (and if) the deal goes through, it will conclude the saga of Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based Radical, which since June had been operating with a skeleton crew of developers, keeping the technology up and running and completing client contracts.

A few executives remained on staff as well, to track down a buyer for its RadicalMail technology, which embeds streaming, rich media creatives and e-commerce capabilities into email messages.

While spokespeople at the time of the company’s shutdown were optimistic about finding a buyer, the news had been greeted with industry-wide concern: Radical Communication had been the oldest, and among the best known of the fledgling rich media email firms.

As a result, MindArrow (which had previously been known as eCommercial.com) says the acquisition stands to not only boost its brand, but its back-end technology and client base as well.

“RadicalMail is one of the premier brands in the interactive marketing space,” said MindArrow president and chief executive Robert Webber. “This acquisition would expand our product suite and provide us with the opportunity to market complementary applications and services. The combined solution will increase our ability to attract new clients.”

Webber also said the acquisition would give MindArrow a combined customer base of more than 200 companies and more than 20 agency channel partners.

“We believe the consolidated company would be a leader in interactive rich media communications and that no other company currently provides such a comprehensive suite of digital marketing applications and services,” he said.

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