The online music service Napster is going it alone once again.
, which relaunched the outlaw file-sharing system as a lawful online music service last fall, said Monday that it was selling its consumer software assets to
The $80 million deal will leave Roxio as the pure-play operator of the Napster service, and it will turn Sonic into the clear leader in the business of CD and DVD creation software. Upon the deal's completion, which will require a Roxio shareholder vote and could occur as soon as October, Roxio will change its name to Napster.
Roxio's shares rose 26 cents to $4.40 after hours, after the announcement of the deal, while Sonic's shares jumped 95 cents to change hands at $13.58.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sonic will pay Roxio $70 million in cash, plus $10 million in Sonic stock, for Roxio's consumer software operation. Roxio, the companies said, is the leading manufacturer of CD and DVD creation software in the retail channel, while Sonic says it has more than half of the market selling this software directly to computer manufacturers, which preinstall the software on computers they sell.
In a Monday evening conference call with analysts, Sonic CEO Bob Doris indicated the deal would be "highly financially accretive" to his company. Had the proposed deal taken place prior to Sonic's current fiscal year, Doris said, Sonic believes the deal would have added 25 cents in earnings per share to the company's currently expected 75-cent EPS for the year ending March 31.
That model, Doris said, takes into account the additional interest expense, amortization of intangibles and share dilution that would arise from the deal.
For his part, Roxio CEO Chris Gorog said on the call that the deal would enable his company to focus completely on the digital music business funded with a net cash balance of more than $100 million.
Re-launched last fall as an online music business, Napster allows users to listen to a library of songs through their PCs for a fee of $9.95 a month, and allows for a la carte music downloads of 99 cents per song.