Monday, September 10, 2007

USA.Net merges with Connecticut firm

USA.Net Inc., founded 16 years ago as an early computer bulletin board, has merged with a Connecticut-based security software firm.
Colorado Springs-based USA.Net merged Aug. 10 with Perimeter eSecurity Inc. two weeks after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. invested $50 million in Perimeter. Stripes Group LLC and Bessemer Venture Partners, both of New York, joined Goldman Sachs in financing the merger.
USA.Net directors began studying alternatives to finance the company’s growth about a year ago and hired Denver-based St. Charles Capital LLC in January to “explore strategic alternatives,” said David Ramon, USA.Net’s president and chief executive.
USA.Net employs 30 in the Springs and 45 in Denver to provide hosted e-mail and related services to about 2,000 businesses, including United Airlines, Farmers Insurance and Adecco Group. JPMorgan Partners owned two-thirds of the company, while Ramon and chairman Ken Pigott owned 20 percent.
USA.Net will operate as a Perimeter subsidary and will remain in its current locations with its staff and management intact, Ramon said.
The company was founded in 1991 as Community News Service, an early computer bulletin board, became an Internet access provider called Internet Express and later changed its name to USA.Net and moved 11 years ago into hosting e-mail and other services for businesses.
Perimeter, which employs about 200 and has nearly 4,000 customers, is looking to acquire other companies that provide complimentary hosted software services, Ramon said.

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