USWeb, Whittman-Hart Aim for E-Business

New media marketing company USWeb/CKS Monday merged with Whittman-Hart in a deal that will create a $14 billion firm focusing on helping businesses make the most of electronic commerce.

E-business solutions provider Whittman-Hart will give USWeb/CKS (USWB) shareholders .865 of its shares for each USWeb share they own. The deal values USWeb/CKS at just under $5.9 billion.

The companies will help established companies make the most of the Internet and work with Internet start-ups to grow their businesses.

Whittman-Hart (WHIT) Chief Executive Officer Robert Bernard will head the combined company while USWeb/CKS Chief Executive Robert Shaw will become chairman. The company will be headquartered in Chicago.

Bernard said the deal recognizes the fact that professional services will be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Internet.

“Clients are looking for a partner that can serve the emerging needs for e-commerce solutions that reach from the consumer to the supplier. With more than 8,000 professionals in 13 countries worldwide, we will offer an unsurpassed breadth and depth of expertise with geographic reach to serve global clients locally,” he said.

The deal, which must still be approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in April.

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