Sumitomo to Make $10 Million Investment in CMG

CMG Information Services Inc. said that Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. agreed to make a $10 million equity investment in CMG.

The companies said they will explore and develop joint Internet initiatives, leveraging CMG businesses in Japan’s fast-growing technology marketplace. Specifics of the investment were not disclosed.

Andover, MA-based CMG operates and/or finances some of the Web’s leading brands, including Planet Direct, ADSmart, Engage Technologies, Lycos, and GeoCities.

Sumitomo, the ninth largest global corporation with revenues of approximately $125 billion, is the leading investor in Japan’s top Internet Service Provider, Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), and is a co-founder and part owner of the Asian Internet Holding.

Microsoft and Intel made similar CMG investments in 1997.

“This collaboration marks a significant first step in expanding CMG’s affiliate businesses into the Asian interactive marketplace,” said David Wetherell, chairman, president and CEO of CMG. “Sumitomo has been an aggressive and visionary player in both Japan’s and Asia’s Internet arena, and provides CMG with a strong potential partner for all of our initiatives there.”

“We bring a history of success in building Asia’s Internet infrastructure, while CMG brings its expertise in delivering advanced direct marketing and database management technologies, as well as superior content. We believe this alliance will create a powerful marriage of infrastructure and content serving the Asian Internet community,” said Isao Momota, deputy general manager, information & telecommunications at Sumitomo.

In related news, the ADSmart network, a CMG affiliate company, announced its own alliance with Sumitomo. ADSmart will license its franchise business processes, methodology, and technology to the Sumitomo Group’s CrossBeam Networks Corp. to build an Internet advertising network in Japan.

CrossBeam Networks, an Internet-based integration and services company, is a provider of Internet services over CATV and an Internet content provider. Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed.

The CMG Internet Group is made up of six majority-owned subsidiary companies including: Planet Direct, NaviSite Internet Services, Engage Technologies, ADSmart, InfoMation, and The Password.

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