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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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