Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Under the agreement, Mountain View, Calif.-based VeriSign will issue 2.15 shares of common stock for each share of Network Solutions stock. The transaction, valued at approximately $21 billion, has been approved by both companies' boards, but is subject to approval by their stockholders. If approved, the acquisition is expected to close in third-quarter 2000, subject to regulatory approvals. Herndon, Va.-based Network Solutions will become a subsidiary of VeriSign with Jim Rutt continuing to serve as CEO, reporting to Stratton Sclavos, president and CEO of VeriSign.
"With Network Solutions as the gateway to establishing online identity and Web presence, and VeriSign as the provider of Internet authentication, validation and payment services, our combined company will serve as the trust utility that will power the Internet economy," claims Sclavos.
VeriSign and Network Solutions together will deliver businesses and consumers services that cover the four key stages of the e-commerce lifecycle, they say. These include areas include establishing an online presence-domain name registration, global directory listings, DNS distribution, e-mail and basic Web site creation; basic e-commerce-digital certificate-based authentication for secure Web site transactions and e-mail, credit card payment services and global domain name management; customer/supply-chain management-secure extranet services, virtual private networks, secure messaging, wireless communications and real-time validation; and global trading-buyer and supplier credentials for business-to-business exchanges, trusted directories, purchase card and automated clearing house (ACH) payments, digital receipts and archiving.
VeriSign is a provider of Internet trust services, including authentication, validation and payment for Web sites, enterprises and e-commerce service providers to conduct trusted and secure electronic commerce and communications over IP networks.
Network Solutions is a registrar and exclusive registry of domain names in .com, .net, .org and .edu, with more than 8.1 million registrations and 240 major partners worldwide. The company's registry business is the sole provider of .com, .net and .org registration services to 34 domain name registrars worldwide, and it serves as the Internet's trusted "master directory" for those domain names.