Ticketmaster To Buy Evite


Ticketmaster on Friday said its Citysearch online city-guide unit has agreed to acquire Evite Inc., the struggling online-invitation service.

The announcement, which confirmed a report in The Wall Street Journal, ends Evite’s three-month search for a buyer.

Terms weren’t disclosed, though one person familiar with the matter told the Journal the purchase price was less than $25 million.

Josh Silverman, chief executive of closely held Evite, San Francisco, called the transaction “a great outcome” for his company and its investors in a difficult market environment.

Evite raised $38 million from venture capitalists but had to lay off about 60% of its staff in November after the company’s board determined it couldn’t survive as an independent company. Evite launched its current online event-planning service two years ago, and it quickly became a staple for arranging Bay Area gatherings. Evite faltered when it tried to expand into business-oriented services.

Evite’s scaled-down operations will move to Citysearch’s headquarters in Pasadena, Calif., though it isn’t clear how many of Evite’s remaining 19 employees will make the move. Mr. Silverman said he plans to oversee the transition but then will likely move on to other pursuits.

Citysearch President Steven Trepp said his service has been working with Evite for more than a year. The acquisition will allow Citysearch to extend its offerings so people planning an event or trip can simultaneously invite people to attend.

Ticketmaster (TMCS), of Los Angeles, formerly was known as Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch Inc.

Copyright (c) 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.