Magazine article American Banker

First Financial Management Sues IBM for $150 Million

Magazine article American Banker

First Financial Management Sues IBM for $150 Million

Article excerpt

First Financial Management Corp. has filed a $150 million lawsuit on behalf of its bank data processing subsidiary against International Business Machines Corp., citing breach of contract.

The suit contends that IBM has failed to supply the manpower necessary meet its contractual obligations for installing software and training personnel at the data processing clients of the First Financial unit, Basis Information Technologies Inc.

Sale Possible

Basis, based in Atlanta, supplies computer services to about 800 small and midsize financial institutions.

While announcing the suit, First Financial Management executives said Basis might be put up for sale.

They declined to be specific about what would trigger such action.

Patrick H. Thomas, First Financial's chairman and chief executive, mentioned the sale possibility in remarks printed in his company's third-quarter earnings report.

"We are evaluating the strategic significance of the business of our wholly owned subsidiary Basis Information Technologies," Mr. Thomas said.

In light of the IBM dispute, he said, "the company is considering various alternatives, including the possible sale of Basis."

IBM officials confirmed that a lawsuit had been filed, but they declined to comment.

First Financial said it was interested in resolving the suit as soon as possible.

The case revolves around a Dec. 31, 1989, contract in which IBM committed itself to co-develop banking software that would run in Basis' computer service bureau. …

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