Magazine article American Banker

Sterling Commerce Delves into Networking with Deal

Magazine article American Banker

Sterling Commerce Delves into Networking with Deal

Article excerpt

Sterling Commerce is moving more deeply into networking technology.

The Dallas-based leader in Internet commerce software, with 1997 revenues of $350.6 million, recently agreed to buy Xcellenet Inc. of Atlanta in a stock and cash deal valued at about $200 million.

Xcellenet, with $53.6 million in 1997 revenues, develops software that gives employees remote access to their corporate computers. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Observers see Sterling Commerce spreading its wings using the $350 million-plus it raised in a February 1997 secondary offering of common stock. The company, which made its initial public offering in March 1996, has more than $500 million available for acquisitions.

Some question how well Xcellenet would mesh with the core businesses. "I do not think the market yet understands the acquisition," said Neeraj K. Vohra, analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey and Co. in Arlington, Va. "I do not think the market totally disliked it either."

Sterling sees Xcellenet as a vehicle for extending electronic commerce to remote computing devices. "Companies implementing EC solutions will want to integrate mobile devices and remote sites into efficient supply chain management solutions," said Steve Perkins, president of the Sterling Commerce communications software group.

Sterling cited industry projections that there will be more than 100 million remote computing users worldwide by the year 2002.

Sterling Commerce's stock rose 37. …

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