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Sonic Foundry to Acquire MediaSite

On Friday, Sonic Foundry (www.sonicfoundry.com) announced that it was acquiring MediaSite, a company that provides searchable video and media management solutions.

Sonic Foundry will purchase all of the assets and will assume certain liabilities of MediaSite, in exchange for 3,420,000 shares of newly issued Sonic Foundry common stock. According to the companies, an additional 360,000 shares may be issued subject to certain closing conditions. The transaction is expected to close within 60 days.

For Sonic Foundry, it will complement its existing media capture and production software with MediaSite's video searching and media retrieval.

Sonic Foundry said it would form a third business division (after software and media services) that will retain the MediaSite brand name for marketing purposes. The companies will focus on customers in the entertainment, government, corporate and educational markets.

MediaSite sells its Publisher software, which creates searchable video, and WebFinder, a navigation engine.

"One of the greatest strategic opportunities we've identified is the need for a single source solution that manages rich media content through the entire process of production to publishing," said Rimas P. Buinevicius, chairman and CEO of Sonic Foundry, Inc. "This combination provides the industry with an unprecedented array of technologies, solutions and expertise that help solve the inadequacies of previous offerings and helps drive the industry's overall growth. More importantly, the two companies fit well culturally and share a mutual respect for outstanding engineering development."

Sonic Foundry said it expects to strengthen its balance sheet and cash reserves further through additional financing in the form of equity or debt. But it did not reveal whether the acquisition would result in job cuts or office closures. In March 2001, MediaSite cut about a third of its workforce (about 34 employees), mostly in support and administration.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based MediaSite was founded in 1997, from a Carnegie Mellon University research effort. Currently, MediaSite has customers in the media and entertainment, financial services, education, consumer products, government and advertising industries.

"Our complementary solutions and market strategies are perfectly aligned and will yield capabilities that will advance the state of the field," said Vinay Mehra, chairman and CEO of MediaSite. "We're excited about the advantages this brings to our customers and partners. The announcement today is a springboard for a broad range of new tools, services, and applications for the creation, management, publishing, and use of interactive content. Together, we're raising the bar in digital media.''

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