Nov. 8, 2004 – WILink plc (LSE: WLK or WLK.L), a worldwide provider of online investor relations services and web-based communications solutions, announced today the acquisition of Communicast Inc., a leading web conferencing and webcasting provider located in Herndon, Virginia.
Established in 1999, Communicast provides managed web conferencing and webcasting solutions to clients including Eli Lilly, Intel, Computer Associates, the U.S. Marine Corps, and the American Marketing Association. Communicast's sales revenue has grown at in excess of 35% per annum over the past four years. Collaborative Strategies LLC named it the top privately held company in the US e- presentation market.
Terms of the acquisition include an initial consideration of $3.25 million, consisting of $2.3m payable in cash and the transfer of 166,596 WILink shares on completion of the deal, and additional consideration subject to an earn-out after one year with a maximum aggregate consideration of $7 million.
WILink's interim results for the six months to 30 June 2004, reported that Vcall (www.vcall.com) webcasting and web conferencing revenues grew 56% (+75% at constant exchange rates) compared with the first half of 2003, driven partly by non-IR corporate sales in the US. WILink's strategy is to build on this success by leveraging our proven track record in the investor relations area to provide services to the non-IR functions of our 3,500 corporate clients. We intend to grow Vcall organically and by carefully selected acquisitions, of which Communicast is the first.
Worldwide, according to Frost & Sullivan estimates, the total corporate web conferencing market is currently worth about $600 million and is forecast to grow at between 25% and 30% per annum over the next six years to $3 billion in 2010.
"Communicast has been an innovative, growing part of the web conferencing landscape over the past five years," said J. Patrick Galleher, chief operating officer of WILink - North America. "This acquisition not only allows Vcall to accelerate its own growth, but do so in a way that brings a range of synergies, new services and features to our collective clients. As the demand for web conferencing and webcasting continues to explode, with more and more organizations recognizing its efficiency for communicating with audiences small and large, our new combined product offering will deliver unprecedented functionality for interactive, web-based events."
Dale Coyner, co-founder and CTO of Communicast, stated, "We are impressed with Vcall's capabilities and are very excited to be a part of WILink's future. This combination gives us the opportunity to increase our level of service to existing clients and reach new customers who can utilize our full-featured, easy to use web conferencing tools – no matter how large the audience or complex the environment."
According to Galleher, WILink's acquisition of Communicast (www.communicast.com) will provide clients the best of both worlds, blending Vcall's robust infrastructure and production capabilities with Communicast's interactive functionality such as polling, testing and whiteboarding. All current employees of Communicast will join Vcall and be involved with the new combined offering.
WILink plc (www.wilink.com) provides online Investor Relations and web based communications solutions. Since 1989, WILink has helped clients such as Hewlett Packard, Deutsche Telecom and BP improve the effectiveness of their investor communications. WILink's services include PrecisionIR™ (www.precisionir.com) and PrecisionFM™ (www.precisionfm.com) investor-communication programs that enable publicly traded companies and mutual funds to deliver compelling communications to a targeted audience of investors. WILink's Vcall® (www.Vcall.com) webcasting provides innovative technology and professional service that enables organizations to create compelling and influential web presentations.