RealTime IT News

VerticalNet Buys B2B Trading Partner

Business-to-business electronic commerce initiatives continued to grab the spotlight Wednesday with news that VerticalNet Inc. plans to acquire Tradeum Inc.

VerticalNet, which operates a series of B2B trading communities, will issue about 2 million shares for all outstanding Tradeum equity. Based on Tuesday's closing prices, the deal is worth about $475 million.

Tradeum's flagship product, Xchange Suite 2.0, is a Java and XML-based platform allowing multiple buyers and sellers to be matched up electronically. The company has customized the platform for players in a variety of industries. Once the deal closes, Tradeum will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of VerticalNet. It will contiue to operate from San Francisco.

VerticalNet (VERT) said Tradeum's platform will give it a comprehensive offering allowing companies to manage content, commerce and a community marketplace with a single product.

"We are uniquely positioned to bring both functioning and differentiated vertical marketplaces and operating expenses to bear in applying this solution, either within our network or through joint ventures," said VerticalNet President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Walsh.

VerticalNet said the deal will give it a common platform allowing it to leverage its experience in market design, business process and operations across a variety of markets.

"Tradeum provides a flexible platform that allows market makers to choose their appropriate market design and switch seamlessly between different times of exchanges, auctions and sourcing activities. This acquisition gives us powerful technology to extend our leadership in the creation of real-time exchange, while at the same time providing a level of customization that makes it useful in all verticals and all types of markets," Walsh said.