Two IBM services units acquired by GXS owner

Francisco Partners will merge the units into GXS within six months

IBM Global Services is selling its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Business Exchange Services businesses to technology investment company Francisco Partners, the majority owner of electronic data transmission vendor Global Exchange Services Inc. GXS provides business-to-business e-commerce services that enhance business process integration and collaboration.

In an announcement today, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Francisco Partners said it will merge the two IBM units into Gaithersburg, Md.-based GSX within six months.

The price of the deal was not announced.

Gary Greenfield, president and CEO of GXS and an operating partner of Francisco Partners, will serve as CEO of the newly acquired businesses, which operate under the name G International.

"Adding the talented employees, superior services and stellar client roster of IBM's EDI and Business Exchange Services to the Francisco Partners family of companies, including GXS, is a strategic step towards becoming one of the leading integration service providers serving the world's largest business communities," David Stanton, chairman of Global Exchange Services and managing partner of Francisco Partners, said in a statement.

Francisco Partners said the deal will help enhance GXS's activities in the automotive, consumer products, financial services, high-tech and retail industries.

"Today, our large and small business customers are asking us to help them achieve broader participation with their business partners on a global scale," Greenfield said. "As a result of the anticipated merger, GXS will not only broaden its global presence in key geographies, but also will immediately become one of the leading B2B integration service providers."

A spokesman for IBM couldn't be reached for comment. A spokesman for GXS didn't return phone calls.

In June 2002, GXS was acquired by Francisco Partners from General Electric Co., and now operates as an independent firm. GE retains a minority investment in GXS.

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