Internet tech companies begin to show their worth.

17 March 2003 A total of 1,087 venture capital backed or publicly listed Internet companies were acquired around the world in 2002, a large number of them in some kind of financial distress, according to research by Webmergers, a US research and advisory company.

The report shows that the value of dot-com style Internet companies, based mainly on content, continued to fade in 2002, but that infrastructure companies, such as ebusiness software suppliers, are holding up in value.

Buyers paid $23.3 billion for the companies — about $23 million per company. This is substantially lower than in 2001, when 1,283 Internet-related companies were sold for a total of $78 billion.

Webmergers includes all kinds of Internet companies in its figures, including, for example, Inktomi, a search technology company bought by Yahoo for $235 million, and Infinium, a business software company, bought by enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor SSA GT for $94 million.

Infrastructure spending — referring to the suppliers of software and services to corporations — accounted for 72% of the value of the deals in 2002, up from 28% in 2001. Asset sales — usually meaning that a business has not been sold as a going concern — accounted for 235 deals, or 25% of the total.

“These deals centre around emerging pockets of vitality that range from Internet-enabled corporate applications to certain segments of e-commerce,” said Webmergers.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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