The name Archeo is derived from the Greek word “arche” — meaning beginning.

And that’s exactly what’s happening with Seattle-based online advertising company Marchex — a new beginning.

The 9-year-old company is announcing today that its board has authorized a plan to split into two separate public companies, one operating under the name of Marchex and the other under the name of Archeo.

The Marchex assets will include the mobile and call advertising business, while Archeo will consist of a domain name and advertising marketplace. The Archeo business will consist of the company’s more than 200,000 domains, and its advertising business that will continue to place local pay-per-click ads on Web sites. Marchex’ dividend also will be transitioned to Archeo, depending upon capital availability.

Russ Horowitz

“We have one of the most valuable and unique portfolios in the world,” the company said in a statement. “Now we’ll have the right people and systems in place to monetize this asset-rich resource.”

The split is expected to take place over the next nine months. Marchex co-founder Russ Horowitz will remain chairman of both companies, and retain the CEO role at Marchex. A new management team will be formed around Archeo.

“We are excited about the strategic and operational clarity this separation provides,” said Horowitz in a statement.   “Over the past few years, our products and assets have become increasingly divergent and represent two distinct opportunities. Through this separation, we believe that we can unlock shareholder value by giving each business their own focus and resources to grow and fulfill their potential.”

In the news release, Marchex said the separation into two companies will provide greater financial and operational flexibility.

Marchex has a market value of about $154 million. Its stock is down 34 percent so far this year.

Update: Marchex also released its third-quarter earnings today, reporting revenue of $34.8 million, down from $39.9 million in the same quarter last year. The company reported a loss of $666,000 for the quarter, compared with profits of $1.2 million in the same quarter last year.

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  • senvooo

    That actualyl does make a lot of sense. Wow.

  • ex mchx

    Uhhh…so instead of one company that is going backwards…divide it by two. Makes sense!

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