Every action of Digital Equipment Corp over the past two years has pointed to a company desperately short of cash, and the situation – which seems to have passed Wall Street by completely – has clearly not eased at all of late. Thus, rather than find the $50m or so that its new Internet division […]
Every action of Digital Equipment Corp over the past two years has pointed to a company desperately short of cash, and the situation – which seems to have passed Wall Street by completely – has clearly not eased at all of late. Thus, rather than find the $50m or so that its new Internet division is pressing to finance the development and marketing of its search engine and other products from the Maynard treasury, DEC has turned the division into a new subsidiary, AltaVista Internet Software Inc, and is sending the thing out to market to raise the money for itself. It’s not even good timing – much of the froth has now blown off the Internet new issues market. Making it clear that it doesn’t want to let any part of AltaVista go, the company is selling A shares that carry one vote but didn’t say how many would be offered or at what price. It’s hanging on to B shares that carry three votes each, so that it will own at least 80% of AltaVista after the flotation and can sell plenty more A shares to raise further cash without losing control. Lehman Brothers Inc, Cowen & Co and J P Morgan & Co will jointly manage the underwriting. The new subsidiary will include other software products for the Internet and intranet alongside the search engine, including security products, management software, electronic mail and workgroup collaboration software, Reuters was told. The new DEC subsidiary also announced two new additions to its AltaVista Security family yesterday, NT versions of its AltaVista Tunnel and AltaVista Firewall, which aid cyberworkers access business information from any location and also help protect private networks from the Internet. The company also announced that AltaVista Firewall has been certified as the first approved firewall on Windows NT by the National Computing Security Association (NCSA).