When a company is spun off, that refers to taking a part of one company and creating a new, independent company out of it. This is, for example, what 3Com did with its Palm division.
An agreement was reached to take what used to be the genealogy division of Mattel/The Learning Company and create an independent software company.
Just like any new company, Genealogy.com needed cash to do business. To that end we have some companies that invested in us. Mattel is one of them.
We are a pre-IPO company which is what many start-up companies are. Pre-IPO (initial public offering) means that we are not publicly traded. All of the investors are part owners of the company. They invest because they believe that some day the percentage of the company that they own is worth more than the amount of money they originally invested.
Does that help?
Sincerely, Paul Burchfield, Genealogy.com Technical Support Find Ultimate Family Tree knowledge base articles, hints, tips, message boards and more at: http://www.uftree.com/UFT/Nav/ufttech.htmlhttp://www.uftree.com/UFT/Nav/ufttech.html