Company Roundup: WebMD, BIO-Key, ForeFront

Photo: Rendering of ForeFront's new headquarters in Fair Haven, Monmouth County. Photo Credit: Courtesy ForeFront
Rendering of ForeFront’s new headquarters in Fair Haven, Monmouth County. | Courtesy ForeFront

WebMD, which is headquartered in New York but has operations in Elmwood Park, has been acquired by Internet Brands (El Segundo, Calif.) for $2.8 billion. According to Crunchbase Daily, the price represents a premium of about 20 percent over the share price of the company before the deal was announced.

WebMD Health Corp. is a leading provider of health information services, aimed at consumers, physicians and other healthcare professionals, employers, and health plans through its public and private online portals, mobile platforms and health-focused publications.

Internet Brands is controlled by KKR (New York), a global investment firm, and owns a large portfolio of B2B and B2C websites in verticals such as automotive, health, home, travel and legal, according to an article on TechCrunch.

“The deal brings to a close a sale process that has been going on for some time and reportedly saw some 100 different bids for the health portal,” the article continued.

“It will also marry a company that has up to now focused on being an information repository, with businesses that provide directory and other services rooted in more transactions.”

“We believe that this transaction will provide additional flexibility and resources to deliver increased value to consumers, healthcare professionals, employers, and health plan participants,” said Steven L. Zatz, CEO of WebMD, in a release.

“On behalf of everyone at WebMD, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to our employees for their hard work and dedication. I am confident this will be an exciting new chapter for WebMD.”

BIO-Key: BIO-key International (Wall), which provides enterprise and consumer biometric software and hardware solutions for user authentication, announced that its Common Stock was approved for listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market, effective start of trading on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. BIO-key’s shares will continue to trade under the symbol BKYI. 

In a release, Michael W. DePasquale, chairman and CEO of BIO-key, commented, “Our Nasdaq listing is a significant milestone for BIO-key and our shareholders, that underscores our ramping sales momentum so far this year. We continue to see growing interest in the efficiency, cost benefits and enhanced security of our biometric solutions. This trend is supported by the growing prevalence of fingerprint biometric solutions on mobile devices as well as the recognition that conventional password and PIN authentication is fundamentally broken. 

“Innovation is also playing a pivotal role in expanding BIO-key’s business potential. We continue to develop new technology to solve pressing, large-scale cybersecurity and authentication challenges as well as consumer-facing products that leverage our core biometric expertise.”

ForeFront: Continuing efforts to bring “Silicon” to the Navesink River and amplify the company’s technology presence within New Jersey, ForeFront is building a new campus headquarters in Fair Haven.  The company is a global systems integrator and technology consulting firm.

Voted one of the “Best Places to Work 2017” in New Jersey, ForeFront hopes to attract and retain talent in and around Monmouth County by offering high-tech facilities, a convenient commute, competitive company perks and a collaborative team environment. The state-of-the-art building will enable ForeFront to host growing development teams and serve as an incubator for new software technologies in partnership with local universities, the company said in a release. 

Located at 810 River Road, the new building will incorporate one of the property’s neglected “clam digger” houses, built in the late 1800s, which will be restored and preserved within the new structure. Glass walls will link the house with the rest of the building, allowing natural light to penetrate through the south side of the structure. ForeFront enlisted local architect Matthew T. Cronin to design the building. The company expects to move to the new headquarters in early 2018.

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