BOSTON-Snyder Communications is hoping a planned separate stock offering for its interactive units, now joined under the Circle.com banner, will yield a new source of revenue to fuel expansion plans.
As the stock will initially only be available to employees and other existing shareholders as a dividend, the Bethesda, Md.-based holding company believes the offering will become a “recruitment and retention tool which should make a vast difference in how we build our business,” said Eric Snyder, co-founder of Circle Interactive in Boston, one of the units inside Circle.com.
“The idea of coming out as a separate entity is to invest in our own growth . . . This addresses some very specific growth needs,” said Snyder (no relation to parent company founder Daniel Snyder). Growth will be welcome at Snyder Communications. Its stock was languishing near its 52-week low, around 28 11/16, at press time.
The separate offering to the existing Snyder stock-a so-called “trading” stock-will allow investors to value the performance of Circle.com independently from the shares of its parent. General Motors was the first to create such a stock in 1984 when it acquired Electronic Data Systems.
Circle.com will be comprised of all the Internet-related businesses owned by Snyder, including Circle Interactive and Blau Marketing Technologies in Wilton, Conn. Also being folded into Circle.com is the interactive unit of Ingalls, Moranville (formerly known as Rockpile Interactive) in San Francisco and a U.K. office of Brann Ltd.
Bob Wilke, a Blau executive since 1983, becomes chief executive officer of Circle.com. Eric Snyder becomes president. Circle.com employs 250 people and estimates 1999 revenues in excess of $40 million. Its client roster includes Bell Atlantic, WSJ.com and IBM’s small-business division.
Circle Interactive traces its origins to Pagano Schenck & Kay in Boston, where Eric Snyder originally teamed with Dave Batista, now chief creative officer of Circle.com, and Tim Scully and Peter Gallagher, who have since departed.
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