Netscape Communications Corp yesterday snapped up two small private companies, one a web graphics tools company and the other a high-performance messaging company for a combined total of around $54m in newly-issued Netscape stock at yesterday’s closing price. Netscape will issue 2.08 million new shares for the transactions, which are expected to close in the second or third quarters of this year, when a substantial proportion of the purchase price will be written off as in-process research and development. DigitalStyle is the graphics tools company, and Portola Communications the messaging company. With Silicon Valley-based Portola, Netscape gets the services of John Myers, a pioneer of the IMAP4 e-mail protocol, DigitalStyle’s main product is its WebSuite2 web graphics toolset. There’s no indication how many of the rest of the employees of each company are going over to Netscape; the Mountain Viewer would only say that a number of engineering folks would be making the trip. Investors in San Diego-based DigitalStyle’s first round that raised $4.3m were Integral Capital Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Asset Management Co. Netscape and DigitalStyle already had a bundling agreement between Navigator Gold and WebSuite 2. Portola has yet to release any products. Both companies are about two years-old.