is picking up the Weiss Ratings
business from the Jupiter, Florida-based Weiss Group. The sale will move the ratings of more than 16,000 mutual funds into new hands.
Weiss started its Weiss Ratings subsidiary to track the insurance industry in 1988. It has since expanded the business to include mutual fund coverage and ratings on more than 6,000 stocks. The deal sends the unit to the TheStreet.com, an online news provider that is publicly owned. The service will be rebranded as TheStreet.com Ratings.
While Weiss has rated funds, those ratings have received poor distribution and are not as well known as fund ratings from Morningstar, Reuter's Lipper Analytics and Standard & Poor's.
Martin D. Weiss
, chairman of The Weiss Group, said that the sale will make the ratings available to more than four million investors visiting the websites of TheStreet.com. The terms of the cash sale were not disclosed.
Thomas J. Clarke, Jr.
, Chairman and CEO of TheStreet.com, said that he believes the acquisition is consistent with two aspects of the publisher's strategic plan to diversify both the sources of revenue and content to emphasize the fast growing advertising category and to diminish reliance on any one product or service. He added that the Weiss ratings will be woven into both TheStreet.com's free advertising supported and paid subscription services.
He also added that the acquisition is a step toward TheStreet.com's goal of transforming off-line subscription products into advertising supported, page view driven on-line augmentations to the Company's free Web site, www.thestreet.com.
, currently the president and CEO of Weiss Ratings, will join TheStreet.com as a senior vice president of a newly created subsidiary called TheStreet.com Ratings.
The deal also included contracts between TheStreet.com and other Weiss Group subsidiaries, including Weiss Research, Inc. and Weiss Capital Securities, Inc., to provide the site's customers with Weiss ratings.
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