Lycos Partners With The Sportsman’s Guide

While its potential merger with USA Networks (Nasdaq: USAI) now seems somewhat unlikely, Web portal Lycos (Nasdaq: LCOS) is continuing to add e-commerce partners. On Monday, The Sportsman’s Guide (Nasdaq: SGDE), which sells outdoor clothing and equipment via catalog and its online store, announced a marketing agreement with Lycos.

The Sportsman’s Guide will be featured on Lycos’ shopping channel in the “outdoor gear” subcategory of the “sports and fitness” category.

About The Sportsman’s Guide

On March 3, The Sportsman’s Guide, which sells everything from Y2K supplies, camping and hunting equipment and fishing gear to portable stoves, air purifiers and electronics, announced that its Web site’s offerings had been expanded to its complete catalog selection.

The company reported record first-quarter sales of $38.7 million (US$) on April 27. Internet sales for the quarter ended were approximately four percent of total sales, more than doubling the 1.5 percent reported for the previous quarter.

“Our growth in Internet sales was recorded despite the fact that our full catalog offerings were not available on the Web site until early March and our Auctions charter merchant relationship was not finalized until March 31,” said Gary Olen, chairman and CEO of The Sportsman’s Guide.

Is USA Deal In Jeopardy?

In related news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that USA Networks is expected to end its bid to acquire Lycos. The proposed deal to create an e-commerce powerhouse was announced on February 8. The deal was met by opposition from CMGI CEO David Wetherell, whose Internet incubator company is Lycos’ major shareholder. The deal has been in jeopardy ever since.

The Journal reported that USA Networks hasn’t made a final decision, but that the company knows its bid won’t be approved if Lycos shareholders vote. USA Networks could make a larger bid to turn the tide, but that seems unlikely because USA Networks chairman and CEO Barry Diller has rejected that notion so far.

Stock Impact

Shares of Lycos were up 10-1/4 to 99-3/4 in early trading today. Volume was heavy, with more than 750,000 shares changing hands early. Shares of The Sportsman’s Guide climbed 5/32 to 5-15/16.

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