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Disney to buy Infoseek

Great Satan of Cartoons follows up on earlier hints

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Disney today confirmed that it will buy Internet portal Infoseek, merge it with its own Web operation and build the whole lot into Go.com, the portal joint venture between Disney and Infoseek. Disney signalled its interest in Infoseek last month. Clearly its talks with Infoseek finally bore fruit, no great surprise since Disney already owns 42 per cent of the portal. The final deal would see it own 72 per cent of Go.com, with the remainder being held by Infoseek shareholders -- Go.com shares will be swapped for Infoseek stock at an exchange rate of 1.15:1. That arrangement, however, must first pass muster with Infoseek's current shareholders. As predicted, the final Go.com company will be publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange, presumably to allow Disney to get the whole thing moving smoothly then begin to cut back on its majority shareholding and make some money on the deal. ®

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