DID YOU HEAR ...
"Jordan is a nightclub, he's fashion, he's Nike, he's everything. We all know what the attendance has been at the games and we all know that while the downtown area should be coming back, it hasn't happened yet. Now it will. Michael Jordan is an icon, a perfect match."
-- Real estate developer Doug Jemal, on Michael Jordan's taking a stake in and a job at the Wizards NBA franchise. Jemal owns property in the area of MCI Center.
Now That's Entertainment
PSINet Inc. is going Hollywood.
The Herndon Internet company is spending more than $50 million on a 50,000-square-foot World Wide Web hosting facility in Los Angeles, its first presence on the West Coast.
The company said it would focus on the needs of the entertainment industry, especially sectors that are creating multimedia content on the Web that need the kind of broadband services PSINet offers.
"This is the entertainment capital of the world," PSINet chief executive William Schrader told the Dow Jones news service Thursday when he was out in La-La Land hyping his new center.
Schrader said the facility, in Marina del Ray, was attractive for PSINet because Southern California hasn't been overrun with Web hosting facilities in the same way Northern Virginia and Silicon Valley have.
Schrader's bet also envisions movies being delivered over the Internet, something many moguls say shouldn't happen. PSINet declined to say if any major studios have signed up as clients.
PSINet's plan for Hollywood covers the next five years, at the end of which Schrader plans to have 1 million square feet of offices and servicing centers.
--Terence O'Hara (email@example.com)
Seeing a Bigger Picture
Two digital photography companies merged to form the new Vienna-based eMotion Inc.
Picture Network International Ltd., a Vienna company that had been part of Eastman Kodak Co., merged with Cinebase Software Inc. out of California to form the new company. EMotion bills itself as a provider of software and online services to help organizations manage media-rich content such as digitized video and audio, image photography and animation. It will have offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Redwood City, Calif.
The new company will be run by former Picture Network chief executive Robert Griffin and Cinebase CEO David Brunel will be chairman.
Financial terms of the transaction were not released. The deal was financed by venture capital investors Psilos, Wasserstein Perrella, East/West Capital and Bear Stearns Constellation Fund.
An IPO Goal of $153 Million
Watson Wyatt & Co. finally let out how much money it plans to raise in its pending initial public stock offering.
The company registered $50 million worth of class A shares and another $103 million class B shares. Class A shares will be publicly traded, while class B shares will be held by insiders.
But exactly how much that stock will be worth to those insiders--the company is wholly owned by its employees--remains to be seen. The company hasn't said how many shares it will sell or what price they'll sell at.
But it's likely, however, that there could be some newly minted millionaires at the Bethesda headquarters of the global human resources consulting giant.
A Big Stake in Nextlink
Nextlink Communications Inc., the McLean-based broadband company started by cellular pioneer Craig McCaw and run by former Nextel Communications Inc. chief executive Dan Akerson, snagged $850 million in capital from a leading Wall Street merchant banking house.
Forstmann Little, run by leveraged-buyout legend Nick Forstmann, invested $850 million in Nextlink, taking an 8 percent stake. Forstmann and partner Sandra J. Horbach will sit on Nextlink's board.
The sale price of a 30-minute audio-cassette featuring a portion of President Richard Nixon's White House recordings--the ones that led to his resignation over the Watergate scandal. In all, the National Archives is offering 12 hours of tapes. For the 24-tape lot, the price tag is $432.