HERNDON, Va. — Internet address registrar Network Solutions Inc. on Wednesday said its board had authorized a two-for-one split of its high-octane stock and it plans to hire financial advisors to assist it in separating its registry and registrar services.
The company also said it has filed with federal securities regulators for a follow-on stock offering of 7.73 million shares, 6.7 million of which are held by Science Applications International Corp., the largest private scientific research organization in the United States. The sale will trim SAIC's Network Solutions stake to about 23%.
Network Solutions' registry maintains an official database of Internet names. The registrar side of the business assigns Internet addresses.
At the same time, Network Solutions said SAIC executive John Glancy will resign from the Network Solutions board, as will Donald Telage. Telage, a former SAIC officer himself, also will step down as Network Solutions' senior vice president of Internet relations and special programs.
Network Solutions is the dominant Internet name and address registrar that once enjoyed a government-sanctioned monopoly on assigning addresses sporting the ubiquitous ".com," ".net" and ".org" suffixes.
Under an agreement finalized last month with the U.S. government and a nongovernmental oversight body--the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN--the company has agreed to separate its registry and registrar businesses.
Network Solutions will continue to operate the domain name registry, or master database of Internet addresses, for four years, collecting a fee of $6 per address per year as manager of the database. But it must allow competitors access to the registry.
It can extend that exclusive management contract by four years through 2007 if it separates the registry from its registrar operation by May 2001. The registrar business is the side of the operation that actually assigns names and offers other related services and that began to face competition for the first time earlier this year.
Network Solutions also will split its highflying stock, one of the cadre of Internet issues that has pushed the Nasdaq stock market to record after record in recent weeks. The stock closed at $272.25 Wednesday, up $4.75, a price more than 5 1/2 times its 12-month low of $49.