Drkoop.com Says It's Mulling Buyout Offer

FRAMINGHAM (07/24/2000) - Drkoop.com, one of the high-profile Internet companies that ran into financial troubles this spring, said late Friday it will consider a buyout offer announced earlier that day by MillenniumHealth Communications Inc. But it's "highly premature" to say that any deal will result, drkoop.com added in a statement responding to the offer.

The two companies only had one "exploratory meeting" before MillenniumHealth's announcement, according to drkoop.com. The Austin, Texas-based online medical information provider also said it has yet to receive any of the required due-diligence information from MillenniumHealth. And drkoop.com noted that it's still pursuing new funding that potentially would allow the company to continue operating independently.

MillenniumHealth, a Reston, Va., company that owns a health care news service and an online marketplace for buying and selling medical equipment, didn't disclose the price that it is offering for drkoop.com or other proposed financial terms when it announced the buyout bid on Friday.

Drkoop.com didn't comment on the value of the offer either. But it said MillenniumHealth is proposing a stock-swap transaction and is requesting a $1 million breakup fee and an agreement that drkoop.com not shop itself around to other potential buyers.

A spokeswoman at MillenniumHealth declined to comment on the matter this morning, while officials at drkoop.com -- which already had hired investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co. to help evaluate its financial options -- couldn't be reached for comment by deadline for this article.

The buyout offer from MillenniumHealth came just days after drkoop.com warned in a filing submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to report second-quarter revenue of just $2.5 million to $3 million.

The company also said that both its chief operating officer and its chief financial officer are resigning.

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