EOEPOEUROIPO

Force de Merger

NewMedia SPARK today said that EO, its online share distribution platform for retail investors, is to acquire the Swedish online retail IPO outfit, EPO.com, for an undisclosed sum. The all-share deals values EO shares at £1.50 each. All we have to do now is find out how many EO shares there are out there.

To date, EPO has had a much bigger IPO deal flow than EO, but it has sold out to EO, backed by a rich parent, in preference to trying to raise new money. There's plenty of opportunity to cut costs - for instance, is there really a need for two news teams (Come to that, is there really a need for one news team - why not buy in from Netimperative, or some other money news organisation?).

The EOEPO.combine will be the biggest online purveyor of IPOs in Europe - it needs scale to attract a full pipeline of quality issues - easier said than done, given today's appetite for flotations. The companies boast of their partnerships with a clutch of personal finance and share trading Web sites - but life would become a lot less volatile, if EOEPO.combine broadened its product portfolio, along the lines of, say, Investor Interactive International, the UK's biggest personal finance site ®

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