RealTime IT News

eScout Acquires Commerce One.net

The B2B sector doesn't make nearly as many headlines as it used to, but parts of it are alive and still doing deals, as witness today's eScout acquisition of the CommerceOne.net marketplace.

Lee's Summit, Mo.-based eScout, which calls itself "The More Efficient Purchasing Company," is acquiring all three of Commerce One.net's lines of business -- Marketplace Operations, Managed Applications Services (MAS) and Content Operations.

And, eScout said the deal will result in "the world's largest business-to-business e-commerce marketplace."

Mark Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Pleasanton, Calif.-based Commerce One , said that the deal "makes sense for both our customers and our business as it will allow us to have an even sharper focus on our new Web services based solutions "

Commerce One has been attempting to reinvent itself after its stock price tanked to well below $1 a share. A 1-for-10 reverse split was executed last September.

For the third quarter of 2002, the company reported a GAAP net loss of $46.9 million, or $1.61 per share, on revenues of $26.4 million. The company is now focused on its Web services-based B2B software suite.

For eScout, a privately held company, the deal would seem to make some sense, although the financial terms were not disclosed. eScout said that the combined company will remain private and will be headquartered in Missouri. As part of the transaction, Commerce One is increasing its equity ownership stake in eScout (specifics were not disclosed) and will obtain a seat on eScout's board of directors.

Included in the assets of Commerce One.net are its trading partner contracts (buyers and suppliers); interoperability agreements; hosting and managed services contracts; technology and equipment; and certain intellectual property.

"eScout and Commerce One.net are the two leading exchanges in North America providing supply-chain services to Fortune 2000 clients," said Alexander (Sandy) Kemper, CEO of eScout, which was founded in 1999. "The combined company will expand the breadth and quality of services delivered to clients."

eScout's investors include Mayfield Fund; Oak Hill Venture Partners; UMB Financial, Harris Bank and Bank of Montreal.