Sports.com Limited to Raise $49 Million Through Second Round of Funding
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, NEW YORK and LONDON, UK (December 6, 1999) - Sports.com Limited, the majority-owned subsidiary of SportsLine.com, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLN) and already the leading Internet-based provider of sports content in Europe, today announced that Sports Capital Partners, manager of the IMG/Chase Sports Capital funds, and affiliates of Soros Private Equity Partners LLC have agreed to lead a second round of funding under which Sports.com will raise $49 million through the issuance of preferred stock. Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated, the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Wit Capital's Arista Capital Partners, LP and certain existing Sports.com shareholders will also participate in the financing. Based on the proposed terms, the funding will represent approximately 23% of Sports.com Limited's post-funding valuation. Completion of the transaction is expected by the end of the year.|
Sports.com, formed in May 1999, launched its first Web site in August. In less than 100 days it reached an average of approximately 1 million page views per day, according to ABC Electronic audited results, more than any other multi-country, multi-sport Web site in Europe.
"We deliberately chose to be aligned with investors that have a solid understanding of the European marketplace to enable us to further develop our business," said Michael Levy, chairman of Sports.com and chairman, president and CEO of SportsLine.com. "This investment will allow us to build on the strong momentum that we've already established, and ensure we stay number one as the European sports Internet market develops."
David S. Moross, Managing Partner of Sports Capital Partners, said: "We are pleased to partner with Soros Private Equity Partners and the rest of our investor group to provide this round of financing to Sports.com. In a very short time, Sports.com has emerged as the leading Internet-based provider of sports content in Europe and it is still in the very early stages of its development. We believe that our investment will provide Sports.com with the capital necessary to execute its growth strategies and to realize its significant potential in the growing European sports marketplace."
Proceeds from the funding will be used for working capital and other general corporate purposes, including expansion into other countries, additional marketing and advertising sales efforts and capital expenditures.
SportsLine.com, Inc. is at the leading edge of media companies providing Internet sports content, community and e-commerce on a global basis. SportsLine.com, Inc.'s content includes more than 400,000 pages of multimedia sports information, entertainment and merchandise. Founded in 1994 as SportsLine USA, Inc., the Company changed its name to SportsLine.com, Inc. in November 1999. Its flagship Internet sports service (http://cbs.sportsline.com) was renamed CBS SportsLine in March of 1997 as part of an exclusive promotional and content agreement with CBS Sports. SportsLine.com, Inc. produces the official league Web sites for Major League Baseball, the PGA TOUR and NFL Europe League, and serves as the primary sports content provider for America Online, Netscape and Excite. In May 1999, the Company commenced operations in Europe through its majority-owned subsidiary, Sports.com Limited.
About Sports.com Limited
Sports.com Limited, formerly known as SportsLine Europe Limited, was created as a European-based, majority-owned subsidiary of SportsLine.com, Inc. in May 1999. Minority interests are held by IMG, Intel Corporation, MediaOne Ventures and Reuters. Sports.com (http://sports.com) was launched in August 1999 and its Web sites include http://football.sports.com, http://rugby.sports.com and http://france.sports.com. Sports.com is the official Internet media partner of Manchester United (http://manutd.com) and the official Rugby World Cup 1999 Web site (http://rwc99.com) and is the primary sports content provider for Netscape Online UK, ft.com, Voila and Wanadoo.
About Sports Capital Partners
Sports Capital Partners is a private investment firm established to provide investors with significant long-term capital appreciation by investing globally in sports and related businesses. The firm was formed in February 1998 by International Management Group (IMG), Chase Capital Partners and Sports Capital Partners Managing Partner David S. Moross.
About Soros Private Equity Partners
Soros Private Equity Partners LLC, an investment affiliate of Soros Fund Management LLC, is responsible for making direct private equity investments on behalf of Quantum Industrial Partners LLC, the principal operating subsidiary of Quantum Industrial Holdings Ltd., a $2.8 billion investment fund, and certain other affiliates of the Quantum Group of Funds. The Quantum Group of Funds is not generally available to U.S. investors.
About Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated
Since its formation in 1989, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Incorporated has completed or currently has pending more than 300 transactions with a total capital value in excess of $37 billion. Headquartered in Dallas, the firm also has offices in New York, London, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.
About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking and securities firm, providing a full range of investing advisory and financing services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The Firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world.
About Wit Capital Group, Inc.
Wit Capital Group, Inc. and its broker dealer subsidiary, Wit Capital Corporation, were founded in New York in 1996 to create the first online investment banking firm. Wit Capital Group, Inc. went public in June 1999. With offices in New York and San Francisco, Wit Capital Corporation is an issuer-driven Internet investment banking firm that offers an array of investment banking services, including underwriting for public offerings, private equity services, strategic advisory, and institutional quality research.
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|For further information, contact:|
Roy Winnick/Mark Semer, Kekst and Company (Sports Capital Partners-US)...(212) 521-4842
Andrew Nicolls, Penrose Financial (Sports Capital Partners-UK)...44-171-776-7601
Shawn Pattison, Soros Private Equity Partners...44-171-451-2020