TheStreet.com Sells Minority Stake To PE Firm TCV For $55 Million; To Fuel Growth

TheStreet.com just announced a $55 million investment from PE/VC firm Technology Crossover Ventures in exchange for a minority stake in the 10-year-old online financial media company. The funding, which consists of preferred stock and warrants, will be used to accelerate TheStreet.com’s (NSDQ: TSCM) expansion plans. The company has been moving fast to expand away from its core business this year, with the acquisitions of Stockpickr.com, Corsis, RateWatch and Bankingmyway.com, as well as its planned launch of its new site Mainstreet.com. Release. More in extended entry…

— The preferred stock that TCV is acquiring converts to common stock at $14.26 per share, while the acquired five-year warrants permit the firm to acquire 1.1 million shares of common stock at $15.686. The release states that the warrants are priced at a 10 percent premium to TSCM shares, although that refers to yesterday’s closing price of $14.26. The company’s shares slipped 4.21 percent today, closing at $13.66. With the investment, TCV founding general partner Jay Hoag will be joining the company’s board.

— TCV has invested in a range of companies in the digital media space, including CNET, (NSDQ: CNET) Netflix, (NSDQ: NFLX) and iVillage. Recent investments include behavioral ad firm AdKnowledge and Oak Pacific Interactive (formerly ChinaInteractiveCorp).

— It wouldn’t be a surprise to see TheStreet.com use these funds for more acquisitions. As of the company’s latest quarterly release, it had $38 million in cash on hand, presumably enough to fund normal growth. CEO Tom Clarke: “Our alignment with TCV is a clear indicator of our intention to aggressively move forward with our expansion plans as a leading player in the online financial media sector, and I look forward to working with them on our future strategy.

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