Orange buys Ananova for UKP95 million

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From: Edd Dumbill (edd@usefulinc.com)
Date: Wed Jul 05 2000 - 02:22:50 PDT


(particularly interesting for me, this one, as I worked there four
years.)

-- Edd

http://www.ananova.net/news/story/sm_9317.html

Ananova is bought by Orange

Ananova, the world's first virtual newscaster, has been
bought by mobile telephone company Orange in a 95
million deal.

Ananova is to be a key player in Orange's international
internet operations.

The computer-generated character was developed by
the Leeds-based new media division of the Press
Association, the national news agency.

Ananova is programmed to deliver breaking news
faster than any human equivalent 24 hours a day.

Orange chief executive officer Hans Snook said:
"Ananova is a key element of our plans to develop our
overall portal platform, which will take wirefree
communications beyond what is available today,
reaching customers in the countries where we, and the
enlarged Orange Group, have a physical presence,
and beyond."

Orange says it will be making further announcements
next week on acquisitions, investment stakes and
partnership agreements and will set out its
internet-based strategy.

Ananova's creators have given her a full range of
human characteristics after researching the personality
most people want to have reading the news.

Ananova, together with PA's 100-strong new media
division, was put up for sale following a strategic
review by the PA board. The agency decided to
concentrate on its core business as a wholesale
supplier of news and information and the sale of
Ananova has reduced its presence in the consumer
market.

PA chairman Sir Harry Roche said: "As well as
returning substantial value to PA's shareholders, this
disposal will provide an investment resource for PA to
further develop its agency-based business-to-business
services to media and non-media customers.

"In addition, the sale agreement provides the news
agency with a significant contract to deliver a
comprehensive news and information service to
Orange."


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