ePresence Sells Australian Business

ePresence Inc. , a Westborough, Mass., e-business software services firm, said it will sell its Australian unit to Axis Media Group for a 10 percent stake in Axis.

Axis, a private company based in Sydney, develops Web infrastructures for business and government clients in Australia. As part of the deal, Axis and ePresence will collaborate to service customers worldwide. As a result, ePresence lowered its financial outlook for the quarter ending March 31.

The company now expects revenues to fall between $16 million and $17 million, with break-even cash earnings. Analysts had expected a profit of one cent per share during the quarter.

Last quarter, ePresence had $17 million in revenue and anticipated it would grow by 6 to 9 percent quarterly.

“The sale of our Australian subsidiary was an opportunity for ePresence to make a strategic investment in a rapidly growing services company,” Bill Ferry, chairman and CEO of ePresence. He said the sale lets the company continue to participate in the Australian market while focusing management and respources in North America and Europe.

Shares fell 0.562, or 7.83 percent, to 6.625 Wednesday morning.

EPresence owns a 38-percent stake in online directory Switchboard.com.

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