Nortel Wants to Become E-Business Powerhouse

Telecommunications firm Nortel Networks took steps to increase its electronic commerce offerings Tuesday by acquiring Clarify Inc., a provider of online business software and tools, in a $2.1 billion stock deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Clarify (CLFY) shareholders will receive 1.3 Nortel Networks common shares for each share of Clarify common stock. The deal values Clarify shares at $68.49 each.

Clarify will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nortel Networks, and the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2000.

Clarify’s flagship software package is eFrontOffice, designed to allow companies to quickly deploy e-business sales, marketing and service initiatives. Combined with its other services, Clarify will provide Nortel Networks with a new line of tools for customers. It will enable a single view of the customer experience across sales, marketing, and service while leveraging services such as phone, fax, Web, e-mail and in person, said F. William Conner, executive vice president and president, Enterprise Solutions, Nortel Networks.

“The top business imperative is developing eBusiness strategies that create lasting customer relationships,” said Conner. “Together we will provide a new customer experience by unifying the high performance Internet with front office solutions and customer interactions of all kinds. This will deliver greater returns on customer relationships for enterprises and service providers worldwide.”

Tuesday’s acquisition joins other developments by Nortel Networks to go up against competitors such as Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO) and Lucent Technologies (LU). Last week, Nortel also announced improvements to its infrastructure, by developing a new cable that is capable of carrying 6.4 terabits per second of Internet traffic over a single, hair-thin strand of fiber.

News Around the Web