First Tuesday goes for £1m

Networking group First Tuesday has been acquired by its local organisers.

Yazam, the Israeli investment company, has sold First Tuesday, the networking organisation, to 11 of its representatives for £1m. It is believed that the capital comes from the city leaders and an unnamed angel investor.

Yazam has also agreed to be acquired by US Technologies Inc., a developer of early stage growth companies, for $22m in cash, plus an additional amount in stock. First Tuesday, which has 100,000 members throughout the world, was acquired by Yazam for £33m last September.

Yazam has been under pressure from investors to wind down operations. In January, the company’s chief executive and president Yaacov Ben Yaacov, said: “Some investors who hold preferred shares in Yazam have informally asked the company to consider winding down the business,” the newspaper says. Yazam’s investors include Texas Pacific Group, the Carlyle Group, JP Morgan & Co, Merrill Lynch & Co and Apax Partners.

Attempts to sell First Tuesday to a third party have failed partly because of resistance from its city leaders. The Wall Street Journal quotes James Bennet, founder of the European Technology Forum, saying: “Anyone who did any due diligence would realise that without the city leaders the business wouldn’t work.”

Reade Fahs, CEO of the firm said: “First Tuesday will continue to be a key source in the driving of the worldwide internet economy.” First Tuesday started out as a London cocktail party. It expanded into 85 countries and generates revenues from sponsorship and matchmaking fees.