* * Sierra Cities Special Report * * *
the block with a hoped sale date before October 1, 2000, this company joined Leasing
News "list" due to its Second Quarter loss and the many rumors from reliable sources
that the company is about to be sold. Chairman Tom Depping has told his employees
there will be an announcement before September 30th.
Reportedly the man who originated the First Sierra concept was Bob Quinn, not
Tom Depping. Bob Quinn approached Tom Depping in 1993 after Denrich was purchased
by ATT Capital in December, 1992. Bob did not feel ATT was dedicated to their
Private Label Program so he approached Tom Depping as an old friend and business
acquaintance about forming a new company to do nothing but Private Label.
From that meeting in 1993 to April 1994, Tom Depping sold some movers and shakers
in Houston (check the Board of Directors for names) to raise the capital to start
First Sierra. When Bob Quinn left ATT in May, 1994, he and Tom along with Fred
Van Etten, Pete Smith and Sandy Ho actually began the operations at First Sierra.
"SierraCities.com (NASDAQ:BTOB) has harnessed the power of the Internet to create
a totally new way for small business owners to get the funding they need. The
leader in online banking and financing, we've automated the funding process to
offer quick and convenient access to loans, leases, and a full range of comprehensive
banking services. Since 1994, SierraCities.com has funded over $2.5 billion in
small business loans."
above is http://www.sierracities.com/about_us.asp
company was basically started by Thomas J. Depping. From 1991 to May 1994, Mr.
Depping served as President of SunAmerica Financial Resources, the equipment leasing
and financial division of SunAmerica, Inc. Sandy B. Ho, Executive Vice-President
and Chief Financial Officer has been with the company since 1995. David L. Pederson
joined in 1998 and is Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer. The
company has had many other vice-presidents, according to listings in past United
Association of Equipment Leasing Membership Directories.
"Since inception, the Company's underwriting, customer service and collection
staff had been located in its Jupiter, Florida office. In order to consolidate
its operations and maximize administrative efficiencies, the Company relocated
its operations center from Jupiter, Florida to its headquarters in Houston, Texas.
It basically had a "private label" and "wholesale/retail" approach to equipment
leasing." This information is from 8/13/99 security filings.
company in 1999 was First Sierra Financial, Inc., Houston, Texas and on January
26,2000 "merged" and changed its name to SierraCities.com, Inc., a Delaware Corporation
with corporate address in Houston, Texas.
HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 3, 2000--SierraCities.com Inc. (Nasdaq:BTOB), an
innovator of technology solutions for online B2B financing, today announced that
it has withdrawn its recently approved application to become a bank holding company.
In April, the Company announced that its application was approved by the board
of governors of the Federal Reserve.
Depping, president and CEO, said, "Although our application with the Federal Reserve
was approved in April, we have decided not to implement the banking strategy at
this time as we are in the process of potentially splitting our technology and
finance operations." On April 24, SierraCities.com announced that it retained
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette to advise on the potential division of the Company's
technology and finance operations.
reports $7.7 million loss for second quarter
"The Company reported a net loss of $7.7 million for the second quarter, including
non-recurring pre-tax charges of $6.9 million. On an operating basis, the Company
reported a loss of $3.4 million compared to net income of $252,000 in the second
quarter of 1999. Second quarter operating results were largely impacted by reduced
gains from asset sales resulting from a poor secondary asset market during the
quarter. The asset sales completed during the quarter resulted in gains of $957,000
compared to $3.5 million in the second quarter of 1999.
"The Company incurred a one-time $6.0 million pre-tax charge in the second quarter
related to the restructuring or elimination of underperforming operations." Sierra
Cities Press Release
Sierra changed its name this year to migrate from purchasing smaller leasing companies
with the small leasing company methods and sales forces, from utilizing lease
brokers then to inside salesmen to an internet aimed company, securizing leases
and "selling off" or "brokering" leases to other funders in a lesser extent. The
company changed its major direction in the last twelve months to become a "dot.com,"
if you will accept this idiom.
Sales were originally generated with the purchase of the smaller leasing company,
who joined the parent with funds available often a lower rate and supposedly less
rules and regulations than the small leasing companies funding sources. This type
of sales generation series appeared to generate more sales, but in affect, these
smaller leasing companies had discounted, brokered, or borrowed for most of their
business and the asset was the management and sales niche of the smaller leasing
company. The concept was for sales from the new company generated sales for the
larger company and as long as new companies were being added, sales appeared to
grow. In effect, many of the smaller companies sales diminished with the original
principal leaving or the entrepreneurial spirit changing in the operation of gathering
lease matured, or defaulted, or brought up heavy servicing problems, the concepts
begins to collapse.
Interlease Corporation (GIC) 6/96
( a Florida, Colonial Pacific Pegasus Lease
Leasing Group 9/96
Lease Pro, Inc. 2/97
Heritage Credit Services, Inc.
Universal Fleet Leasing 5/97
Public Funding Corporation 6/97
Capital Leasing Company 9/97
Financial Management Services dba Cascade Leasing
Heritage Credit Services of Oregon 11/97
All American Financial Services
Independent Capital Corporation (ICC) 3/98
Integrated Lease Management
OMNI Leasing 4/98
Vendor Leasing Services 4/98
dba The Money Source 6/98
21st Century 6/98 Republic Group, Inc. ( Anaheim
Suffolk Street Group ( England ) 7/98
Brooker Montague Leasing
Titan Finance Limited 10/98
Fifth Third Leasing 6/99
Alliance Financial 12/99
Kropshot arranged the first three acquisitions as the investment banker. He would
make no comment for the record or off the record.
Many of the principals of these companies are now either retired or started their
business financial companies such as Charlie Lester, Don Zaretsky, Brent Hall
( son of Oren Hall ).
Some believe the company changed with the acquisition of Republic Group, Anaheim,
did not want to speak on the record for the fear of being sued for their opinion
by Sierra Cities. If there is a sale, they may comment afterwards. Several did
not take stock with the sale, but others did, so they would prefer to wait until
1. Sell the finance division.
2. Sell the technology
3. Sell both the finance and technology divisions.
into a joint venture with a stronger company that would relieve the need for securitization.
5. Keep doing business as usual.
These comments are from many of them and others in the industry:
Bob Quinn was a Sr. VP and Chief Credit Officer who ran the Jupiter operations
until he and Tom had a falling out when Tom moved the credit function to Houston
in 1998. From that point on, he and Tom fought like cats and dogs until Bob was
finally kicked out in early 1999. Pete Smith left First Sierra in late 1999 as
did Charlie Lester. Peter Smith says he plans to join Bob in his new company that
will be announced soon.
Charlie Lester believes", the acquisition of the Republic Group was the downfall
of First Sierra. They took the "hard sell telemarketing techniques" of Republic
Group and tried to make the other companies who had tried and profitable sales
techniques adjust to the Republic Group methods. High yields, but questionable
agree with Charlie Lester since he does not want to be associated with the criminal
element that Republic Group in California brought to First Sierra.... "
"If you go back to their securitization issues and review all the conditions,
reserves, letters of credit issued and factor in attorneys' & credit rating fees
their cost of funds was much higher than expected in light of the losses encountered.
Whether it was to the point where they had low spreads, no spreads or it was costing
them money to do deals."
name with held
theory is they paid too much for the operations they bought, which were little
more than brokerage offices and continued to pay the officers of these firms high
salaries, in addition to the cash and stock given for these operations."
Leasing News has attempted to obtain verification of our list, to learn any reaction
or comment from various officers or spokesmen at Sierra Cities, but has been unsuccessful.
to Acquire SierraCities For $133 Million came the annoucement in November, 2000
The setting in May 1997--GIC, Corporate Capital, Lease Pro, Heritage Credit and
Universal Fleet Leasing had been acquired, but there was no Houston sales management
team in place.
In May 1997, Tom Depping called a summit meeting of the top 25 previous owners,
key salespeople and HQ management in Houston to lay out a new organizational structure
for the company. Under this structure the branches expanded and grew the sales
volume. Unfortunately, the acquisition of the Republic Group took place in mid-1998
and Depping fell in love with the 20-35% yields that they were realizing. When
people like Eric Barash, Mike Wing, Tom Madonna, Oren Hall and I told Depping
how they were screwing the customers with borderline and flat out illegal tactics,
he blew us off as being sour grapes.
the Chairman's Club in Los Cabos, Mexico in February 1999, several of the "kids"
from Republic bragged about the tactics they used such as transposing payment
amounts. If the payment was quoted at $314.57, they would doc the deal at $341.57.
If the customer should catch it, they would say it was a typo and re-doc. Most
of the time, the customer did not catch it or they would play guts ball with the
customer and tell him that he wrote the payment down wrong.
side note---the "kids" from Republic got into a food fight after the dinner buffet
and the hotel management threatened to call the police to make them stop, but
almost everything on the buffet table had been thrown by that time. Later at the
Giggling Marlin, they got drunk and raised hell with Depping, Jim Raeder and Mark
McQuitty present. Great image for a publicity held company.
my opinion, the meeting in Los Cabos was the beginning of the end for First Sierra.
Depping and Raeder became best buddies and Depping made Raeder the VP in charge
of the branches. At age 33, Raeder wanted young studs to take over the acquired
companies so he could make the companies over in the image of Republic. He spent
money like it was water to have walls taken down and cubicles installed since
he felt that opened cubes made for a more energetic office. He ignored the proven
salespeople and ordered the branches to hire new telemarketers. The trend towards
high-pressure telemarketing chased away many established salespeople with vendor
relationships. In addition to wasting money remodeling the branches and losing
established salespeople, they found that telemarketing approach did not work without
a large staff that was constantly coached and encouraged by a sales manager on
a daily basis.
came the charter to become a bank. It did not take long before people like Bob
Henchey realized they could not use the Republic approach if they were to meet
federal guidelines. The last I heard, Bob Henchey is still the President of the
FSF (SierraCities.com) Operating Company. Changes were made and the yields at
Republic dropped almost overnight. The emphasis on telemarketing was reduced in
the branches and volume continued to drop like a rock.
June 2000, Depping fired Jim Raeder for "cause" with no severance package. Mark
McQuitty was fired at the same time with a severance package. The word is that
spent over $1,000,000 for a May meeting of all the salespeople in San Antonio.
If the money had not been spent for that meeting, First Sierra would have shown
an operating profit for the quarter.
Back tracking a little. Two other negatives hit First Sierra in late 1999 and
1. The securitization market went to hell in a hand basket and
First Sierra was married to that market.
2. The name was changed from First
Sierra to SierraCities.com in an attempt to capitalize on the dot.com trend. Unfortunately,
the timing of the name change took place within weeks of the dot.com collapse.
Depping did not realize that dot.com is a website address, not a company name.
the Republic debacle with the securitization and dot.com issues and the failure
of First Sierra became eminent.
ego and lack of loyalty. The best line I have heard about Tom is "He has no old
friends, just new friends and wannabes".
-Company game plans developed in
resort locations where more emphasis was placed on expensive rooms, golf and booze
instead of work. That is why the plans changed so often.
-Changing game plans
caused confusion and lack of direction in the branches and Houston.
of First Sierra management was questioned by people like Oren Hall from the very
-The loss of experienced executives like Bob Quinn, Mike Wing, Oren
Hall, Tom Madonna, Valerie Hayes Jester, Fred Van Etten, Danny Fritz,
Pete Smith, Helen Darrington, Dennis Meyer, Don Zaretsky, Bill Stauder, Ruth Spiers
(Tom's AA for 15 years at First Sierra and previous companies) and the list goes
on and on. You can't lose this many top people without the troops losing confidence
in their own futures.
-Lavish spending for suites, booze and golf outings
for the top guys. My room at the Chairman's Club in Los Cabos was over $500 per
night. My room for the prior manager's meeting in Scottsdale was over $500 also.
I don't know what the cost of the suites for Depping and others cost, but they
had to be extremely expensive. At the same time money was being spent like this,
the branches were being hit with major cost cutting programs. Go figure!!
care and keep up the good work for the industry.
American Leasing, I interviewed two ex-Republic Leasing, Anaheim Sales people.
told me how they were trained to make switches, just as Charlie Lester explained.
Or bid for a lease, using a very low 36 month lease, but when they went to sign
it, change the term to 48 months or 60 months. They were taught how to sell in
this manner. Many lessees did not catch the change, or if they did, they convinced
the sales people were taught tactics to do this.
was the weekly contest of who could charge the highest documentation fee. It was
not uncommon to get $1,000 on a $25,000 lease. The winner not only got a percentage,
but won the contest for a large television set or a monthly contest top prize
of a trip to Cabo San Lucas or Hawaii. The salesman I interviewed told me he once
charge $800 documentation fee on a $5800 lease...but he didn't win the prize as
one salesman got $950 on a $4,000 lease ( I know this is hard to believe, but
that is what he told me and how they would quote on partial equipment or partial
orders, take the deal away with a low rate, but when they had the full list, they
would change the rate and rarely were they "caught" and when they were, the sales
techniques and procedures of how to close the sale...so What Charlie Lester reports,
I can tell you was verified personally from these two interviews with former Republic
Leasing of Anaheim salesmen ).
the Internet's leading business-to-business e-commerce enabler, announced that
it has entered into an agreement to acquire SierraCities.com, which offers one
of the Internet's fastest and most comprehensive business credit solutions, for
$7.00 per SierraCities share, or an aggregate of $133 million, payable in VerticalNet
stock and subject to a collar provision described below. The acquired business,
which will operate as VerticalNet Credit, will add the key functionality of enabling
credit and financing solutions to the B2B company's horizontal offerings across
its 57 industry-specific online marketplaces and will be leveraged throughout
its three strategic business units: VerticalNet Markets, VerticalNet Solutions,
and VerticalNet Exchanges.
Since its founding in 1994, SierraCities has leveraged
its proprietary technology and the Internet to build a leading business in originating
and servicing small business equipment leases and term loans of principal amounts
less than $100,000. SierraCities' solution allows an applicant to apply online,
receive final approval in less than two minutes and receive funding in as little
as 24 hours. The company has processed more than 300,000 applications and originated
more than $3 billion of loans and leases. With more than 95,000 active business
customers and an excellent credit quality track record, SierraCities has strong
core competencies in small business finance.
Through its experience in originating
business credit, SierraCities has developed a core competency in automating credit
risk assessment of small to medium sized businesses. Capitalizing on that core
strength, SierraCities has developed solutions that allow it to facilitate the
extension of trade credit by providing suppliers with real time credit scoring
of their buyers. This automated Web-based solution is faster, less expensive and
more accurate in terms of assessing credit risk than traditional offline methods.
SierraCities gives VerticalNet an ideal platform for providing Web-based credit
solutions to its target markets.
"Some of the barriers to conducting business
online are assessing the creditworthiness of your trading partners, establishing
credit and financing terms and providing a mechanism for payment," said VerticalNet's
President and CEO, Joe Galli. "This is why credit assessment, payment and financing
services are key elements of our strategy of providing a broad range of business-to-business
e-commerce enablement solutions to our customers. SierraCities' product offerings
will enhance the features and functionality of VerticalNet's online marketplaces.
These improved product offerings should drive customer satisfaction and usage
and result in higher and recurring e-commerce revenue streams. VerticalNet has
two types of customers - buyers and suppliers. SierraCities' credit solutions
will afford buyers the liquidity to make online purchases and will allow suppliers
to manage credit decisions more effectively."
"This merger will benefit our
customers and shareholders," said SierraCities' President and CEO, Thomas Depping.
"We have a great deal of respect and appreciation for VerticalNet's vision and
commitment to success, all in a corporate culture that fits well with ours. Together,
we'll be able to leverage one another's technologies and customer bases to create
a business that is much stronger than what either of us has on a stand-alone basis.
With VerticalNet as our partner, we are more confident than ever that we will
capitalize on our position as the Internet's leading provider of real time, comprehensive
credit solutions for small to medium sized businesses and will continue to grow
our vendor relationships."
VerticalNet will leverage and tightly integrate
SierraCities'offerings throughout its three business units by implementing the
VerticalNet Markets expects to market trade credit services as
well as financing solutions throughout its 57 online marketplaces. Furthermore,
VerticalNet Markets will make available the SierraCities solutions to its business
partners. In addition, VerticalNet will market its e-commerce enablement services
to SierraCities' customer base and vendor network.
VerticalNet Solutions plans
to integrate SierraCities' business credit offering into its solutions stack,
increasing the division's e-commerce enablement capabilities.
Exchange intends to use SierraCities' credit decisioning tools to qualify the
market participants of NECX and future exchanges.
"We expect that the SierraCities
acquisition will be accretive to VerticalNet's 2001 cash earnings and 2001 revenues
on a per share basis," said VerticalNet's Executive Vice President and CFO, Gene
S. Godick. "In addition, we believe that we can realize synergies from this acquisition
and expect that it will strengthen our cash position."
Godick continued, "We
are confident that we will be able to integrate SierraCities effectively. As a
condition to closing, SierraCities will move substantially all of its loan and
lease portfolio off balance sheet. We also plan to rearrange SierraCities' funding
strategy so as to minimize the size of the balance sheet associated with the SierraCities
business and to significantly reduce our exposure to credit risk. Currently, SierraCities
funds loans and leases with equity, then moves them into a warehouse facility
provided by one of its credit sources and from time to time effects a securitization
of these assets. Going forward, VerticalNet intends to establish flow arrangements
with selected financial institution partners pursuant to which loans and leases
will be originated by SierraCities and immediately sold for a fee to flow partners.
Given SierraCities' excellent credit history, we are confident that we will be
able to arrange flow agreements with financial institution partners on a timely
basis." The transaction will take the form of an exchange offer in which VerticalNet
will offer to exchange VerticalNet shares with a value of $7.00 for each SierraCities
share, subject to a collar. The number of VerticalNet shares to be delivered will
be based on the average closing price of VerticalNet's stock over the ten trading
days ending two days before the closing of the offer. The collar functions as
follows: if the average price is (1) less than $21, the SierraCities shareholders
shall receive 0.3333 shares for each SierraCities share, (2) between $21 and $35,
SierraCities shareholders shall receive a number of VerticalNet shares equal to
$7.00 divided by the average price, (3) between $35 and $51, the SierraCities
shareholders shall receive 0.2 VerticalNet shares for each SierraCities share,
and (4) greater than $51, the exchange ratio shall be $10.20 divided by the average
price. SierraCities will have the right to terminate the merger agreement if the
average price is less than $15. The exchange offer will be followed by a merger
in which VerticalNet stock will be issued at the same exchange ratio paid in the
The offer is subject to the tender of two-thirds of the outstanding
SierraCities shares and other customary conditions. Holders of approximately 20%
of the outstanding SierraCities shares have agreed to tender their shares into
the exchange offer. The parties have agreed to commence the offer no later than
November 17. The parties hope to close the transaction by the end of the year.
The transaction will be accounted for using the purchase method and is expected
to be tax-free to SierraCities stockholders.
(www.verticalnet.com) provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions targeted at distinct
business segments through three strategic business units: VerticalNet Markets
includes 57 industry-specific web sites designed as online vertical trading communities
and provides hosted e-commerce and community capabilities for corporate divisions
and mid-size businesses; VerticalNet Exchanges focuses on direct material open
and spot markets; VerticalNet Solutions builds digital marketplaces for global
2000 customers, consortia and neutral Net market makers. VerticalNet International
leverages the Company's three strategic business units to create global Internet
B2B marketplaces, offering products and services internationally and partnering
with companies that have strong local presence and domain expertise.
Who is Vertical Net?
company Microsoft has invested $100 million into----
company wanting to be the largest on line department store----
company who sees having a leasing division will help move their products on line------
Cities gets absorbed, name changed, and Vertical Net Credit can finance the products
on line from their alliances.
Here is the announcement about the Microsoft
Microsoft Makes Equity Investment of $100 Million REDMOND, Wash. & HORSHAM,
Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2000-- On March 29, 2000, VerticalNet, Inc.
(Nasdaq: "VERT") and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: "MSFT") signed their definitive
agreement announced earlier this year for a three-year strategic alliance to deliver
business-to-business e-commerce services and content to small-and medium-sized
As part of their strategic alliance, Microsoft will purchase at least 80,000 VerticalNet(R)
Storefronts and E-Commerce Centers from VerticalNet and distribute them to third
party businesses. VerticalNet will assist Microsoft in distributing 30,000 of
these Storefronts and E-Commerce Centers. Additionally, VerticalNet will build
the Storefronts and E-Commerce Centers, incorporating Microsoft megaservices like
Microsoft(R) ClearLead(R), and place them within its 55 communities of commerce.
On April 7, 2000, VerticalNet and Microsoft completed Microsoft's equity investment
in VerticalNet, in which Microsoft purchased 100,000 shares of VerticalNet's Series
A 6.00% Convertible Redeemable Preferred Stock in exchange for $100 million in
cash. "We believe that this strategic alliance represents a tremendous competitive
advantage for VerticalNet by extending our reach to thousands of small- and medium-sized
businesses who are eager to participate in the power of e-commerce," said Mark
Walsh, President and CEO of VerticalNet. "The strategic alliance between our companies
should further validate VerticalNet's portfolio model of communities of commerce."
representative is expected to join the VerticalNet board of directors.
About VerticalNet, Inc.
Inc. (www.verticalnet.com), owns and operates 55 industry-specific Web sites designed
as online business-to-business communities, known as vertical trade communities.
These vertical trade communities provide users with comprehensive sources of information,
interaction and e-commerce.
They are grouped into the following industry sectors:
ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES, COMMUNICATIONS, ENVIRONMENTAL, FOOD AND PACKAGING, FOODSERVICE
AND HOSPITALITY, HEALTHCARE/SCIENCE, MANUFACTURING AND METALS, PROCESS, PUBLIC
SECTOR, SERVICE, TEXTILES AND APPAREL.
Additionally, VerticalNet provides
auctions, catalogs, bookstores, career services and other e-commerce capabilities
horizontally across its communities with sites like Industry Deals.com, IT CareerHub.com,
LabX.com and Professional Store.com. VerticalNet's NECX Exchange provides an exchange
for the electronic components industry.
+ + +
is the atest press release on their profit ( or lack thereof ), $.023 quarter
loss on revenues of $72.7 million.
"VerticalNet Reports Third Quarter Net
Revenues of $73.7 Million and a Cash Loss of $0.20 Per Share; Company Sees Growth
in All Sectors 10/24/2000
HORSHAM, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 24, 2000--VerticalNet,
Inc. (Nasdaq:VERT), the Internet's leading business-to-business e-commerce enabler,
today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30,
2000. Net revenues increased sequentially by 38 percent to $73.7 million from
$53.6 million in the second quarter. This was a $68.5 million increase over the
same period of the prior year. The Company's cash loss improved to $0.20 per share
from the prior quarter's loss of $0.23.
"The third quarter is VerticalNet's
first under the leadership of its new President and CEO Joe Galli, who joined
the Company on July 27. "Joe has had a tremendous first quarter and a smooth transition,"
said Chairman Mark Walsh. "He has produced an immediate impact across the organization."
In reading Vertical Nets press release about Sierra Cities---this "tell all" comment
will mean something to leasing insiders:
credit solutions will afford buyers the liquidity to make online purchases and
will allow suppliers to manage credit decisions more effectively."
large captive leasing program!!!! From VerticalNet's Executive Vice President
and CFO, Gene S. Godick:
"We also plan to rearrange SierraCities' funding strategy so as to minimize the
size of the balance sheet associated with the SierraCities business and to significantly
reduce our exposure to credit risk. Currently, SierraCities funds loans and leases
with equity, then moves them into a warehouse facility provided by one of its
credit sources and from time to time effects a securitization of these assets.
Going forward, VerticalNet intends to establish flow arrangements with selected
financial institution partners pursuant to which loans and leases will be originated
by SierraCities and immediately sold for a fee to flow partners. Given SierraCities'
excellent credit history, we are confident that we will be able to arrange flow
agreements with financial institution partners on a timely basis."
guess he did not read the press releases and quarterly results about the "quality
credit base" comments about downgraded ratings on the securitizations. And to
assume selling off the lease credits and paper will be "immediately sold" to a
love these new words. They must pay some public relations person a lot of money
to come up with them. "fee partner". Love it. Won't you be my "fee partner?"
know, it is almost like Deja Vu, when Wall Streeters knew all about leasing and
Unicapital would halt all the fragmentation and rag tag outfits and reduce costs
through better processing and lower rates.
I keep remembering the television ad where the cowboy are sitting around the fire,
and an old time jumps up, after looking at where the salsa was made, and yells
out: "New York City!?!?!?!?" . Like good salsa is made in New York City? ---editor
Cities Closed Wednesday at 1 21/32 http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=btob&d=b
Net closed at 4 15/16 from a high of the year: $148 3/8 http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VERT&d=t
let's not even talk about companies like VerticalNet (VERT), down a whopping 94
percent," says "Money" Earnings preview: business-to-business stocks January 10,
2001 07:45 AM PT by Adam Feuerstein
and SierraCities.com Announce Mutual Termination of Merger Agreement HORSHAM,
Pa. and HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2001--VerticalNet, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT
- news) and SierraCities.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BTOB - news) announced today that,
due to current market conditions, they have mutually agreed to terminate their
Agreement and Plan of Merger. The termination of the Merger Agreement also terminates
VerticalNet's previously announced exchange offer for shares of SierraCities.com
common stock, and all shares deposited with VerticalNet's transfer agent pursuant
to the exchange offer will be promptly returned.
are still very interested in continuing to explore a relationship with SierraCities.com
as we search for strategic alternatives for technology licensing and development,''
said VerticalNet President and CEO Mike Hagan.
has a wealth of technology and products we believe can benefit the small to medium-sized
businesses in the VerticalNet® markets and we look forward to pursuing other opportunities
with them in the future,'' said SierraCities.com's President and CEO Thomas Depping.
``We also intend to explore our strategic alternatives with others, including
parties who have expressed interest in the possible acquisition of SierraCities.com.''
can be no assurances that any transaction will occur.
VerticalNet, Inc. (www.verticalnet.com) provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions
targeted at distinct business segments through three strategic business units:
VerticalNet Markets includes 58 industry-specific web sites designed as online
vertical trading communities and provides hosted e-commerce and community capabilities
for corporate divisions and mid-size businesses; VerticalNet Exchanges focuses
on direct material open and spot markets; VerticalNet Solutions builds digital
marketplaces for global 2000 customers, consortia and neutral Net market makers.
VerticalNet International leverages the Company's three strategic business units
to create global Internet B2B marketplaces, offering products and services internationally
and partnering with companies that have strong local presence and domain expertise.
is an innovator of technology solutions for online business-to-business financing.
The Company's technology platform supports real time funding of e-commerce transactions
through one of the most comprehensive online business financing fulfillment solutions
available. SierraCities.com's credit technologies enable B2B e-commerce by empowering
businesses to complete transactions more quickly, thereby gaining time and cost
efficiencies. SierraCities.com's infrastructure solution automates much of the
process involved in customer acquisition, application, data retrieval, data warehousing,
underwriting, documentation, servicing, collections, funding, auditing, and data
mining. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.sierracities.com.
announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties,
including those relating to possible future transactions. For such statements,
VerticalNet and SierraCities.com claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking
statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
There can be no assurances that future results will be achieved, and actual results
could differ materially from forecasts and estimates. Important factors that could
cause actual results to differ materially include risks described in their respective
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
VerticalNet nor SierraCities.com assumes any obligation to publicly update or
revise any of the forward-looking statements that may be in this announcement.
VerticalNet and NECX.com are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Vert Tech
LLC in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and tradenames
appearing in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.
investor questions regarding the terminated exchange offer can be directed to
the information agent at D. F. King & Co., Inc. (1-800-628-8510); in New York
call (212-425-1685), or call the SierraCities.com Investor and Media contacts
American Express to buy SierraCities.com for $107.5 mln
NEW YORK, Feb 14 (Reuters) - American Express said on Wednesday that it would
buy equipment financing company SierraCities.com Inc. (NasdaqNM:BTOB - news) for
$107.5 million, in order to expand American Express's small business lending.
New York-based American Express said its American Express Travel Related
Services Co. unit would pay $5.68 cents per share for about 18.9 million shares
outstanding. SierraCities shares rose 3/8 to $4-7/16, or more than 9 percent,
from Tuesday close of $4-1/16 on the Nasdaq. The stock has a 52-week trading high
of $22-7/16 and low of $1-1/8.
SierraCities scrapped its merger agreement
with VerticalNet Inc. (NasdaqNM:VERT - news) on Jan. 10., a deal worth $7 per
Shares in American Express fell 48 cents to $46.30
in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, compared to a 52-week high
of $62.8125 and low of $39.833.
Market News : Tech Movers
SierraCities.com Jumps 38.3% on Purchase
By TSC Staff
SierraCities.com (BTOB:Nasdaq - news) was up 38.3% in mid
afternoon trading after announcing that it will be purchased by financial services
giant American Express (AXP:NYSE - news). American Express said its Travel Related
Services unit would pay $107.5 million, or 5.68 per share, for SierraCities, an
equipment financing company. American Express said the deal would help expand
its small business lending. American Express was down 0.4%.
Investor Relations Contact:
Muriel Lange, 215/315-3367
Nyssa Tussing, 215/315-3710; 917/833-0810
Investor Relations Contact:
Alan Langus, 914-286-6365
Christopher Katis, 415/296-7383