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Shopping.com Hires New Investment Bank

June 24, 1998|Bloomberg News and Times Staff Reports

Shopping.com, the money-losing Internet shopping service under scrutiny by regulators and shareholders, said it ended its controversial relationship with its investment banker, Irvine-based Waldron & Co. The Corona del Mar-based company said it hired Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. of New York as its investment banker and financial advisor to help evaluate "strategic opportunities." What those opportunities are isn't clear. Officials at Shopping.com and Ladenburg couldn't be reached. Waldron took Shopping.com public at $9 a share in November and also was its biggest customer last year, accounting for 40% of its sales. The companies attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission when Shopping.com's stock soared to more than $30 for no apparent reason. Waldron President Cery Perle said the parting with Shopping.com was mutual and amicable. Shopping.com shares were up 75 cents to $24.50 on the Nasdaq Bulletin Board, a largely unregulated electronic market.

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