Looking to bring more people online, PC supplier Gateway and the Consumer Financial Network
Thursday agreed to provide PCs, Internet access and financing to help firms
establish corporate portals.
Gateway will invest $150 million in iXL
subsidiary CFN, which provides firms
with employee benefits and human resources.
Rishi Sood, principal analyst for vertical markets at Gartner Group, said
the strategy enables Gateway
to get a leg up on improving
the quality of life for its top employees.
“This is a new-model benefit that is becoming more central to companies’
retention and workforce training strategies,” Rood said. “We expect to see
the expansion of this practice as employers recognize the value of having a
direct, efficient link to their workers and workers realize the value of
easier access to HR and benefit programs.”
The deal aligns well with CFN’s goal to build a comprehensive portal for
consumer financial and health needs at work and at home.
The Gateway investment, on top of a more than $130 million capital infusion
completed in March from other investors, would effectively reduce iXL’s
majority ownership in CFN to a minority interest upon completion of the
deal. iXL will remain CFN’s largest single shareholder at 48.5 percent.