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divine Bids US$59.3m For Open Market

Further shifting from incubator to software seller, divine will buy e-business application maker Open Market in a $59.3 million stock deal.

"With its leading, standards-based technology, roster of very talented people and strong international operations, Open Market represents a key acquisition for divine,'' said Andrew "Flip" Filipowski, divine chairman and CEO.

Under terms of the acquisition, Open Market stockholders will swap each share they hold for approximately 0.8230 and 0.8598 shares of divine common stock. Pending approval buy shareholders and regulators, the pact is expected to be completed by year's end.

Another component of the agreement, which allows divine's sales force will begin selling Open Market products, takes effect immediately. Open Market's platform is used to deploy portals, marketing campaigns, and online publications.

"We see a tremendous opportunity to combine our technology offerings and leverage divine's technology, sales, and services expertise to help our customers efficiently manage and deliver all of their content resources to reduce costs and strengthen customer loyalty," said Harland LaVigne, Open Market's chairman, president and CEO.

In addition to its technology, Burlington, Mass.-based Open Market, was attractive because of its overseas offices. The company, which had sales of $89 million in 2000, has offices in the Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Chicago-based Divine gave no indication about post-merger staff cuts. More details are expected to be released during a conference call this afternoon.

The value of the deal is a result of both company's stock free fall in the last year. OMKT, which opened down 0.09, or 8 percent, to 1.02, had traded as high as 9.625 in the last year. DVIN, which saw shares edge up 0.07, or 6 percent, to 1.29, has a 52-week high of 9.375.