Scient, iXL to merge

Technology consulting firm Scient Corp. is set to merge with Web developer iXL Enterprises in an all-stock deal.

In a statement issued today, the companies said they will become subsidiaries of a new parent company headquartered in New York and operating under the Scient name.

The companies, which have been suffering from the slowdown in IT spending, said the new Scient will be more competitive because it will have a broader range of services.

Scient today reported a pro forma operating loss for the quarter ended June 30 of $14.8 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with a pro forma operating loss of $31.7 million, or 38 cents per share, for the quarter that ended in March.

Revenue for the quarter plummeted to $11.3 million from $91.4 million during the same period a year ago.

IXL, meanwhile, today reported that its quarterly revenue plunged to $32.7 million for the period ended June 30, compared with $118.4 million a year earlier. It posted a quarterly pro forma net loss of $9.8 million, compared with a pro forma profit of $3.6 million last year.

Since December, New York-based Scient has cut 1,135 jobs and closed offices in Los Angeles and New Jersey; reduced its operations in San Francisco, Chicago and Boston; and moved its corporate offices from San Francisco to New York in an effort to save money.

In May, struggling Atlanta-based iXL announced that it was laying off 300 workers, mostly from general Web-building positions -- just after the company had hired 175 people in "client service and delivery" roles.

In November, iXL announced that it was cutting 850 workers, or 35% of its workforce, and closing offices around the world. That followed a September reduction of 350 jobs, following a trend that has hit other consultancies.

In April, iXL posted a pro forma net loss of $25.3 million for the quarter ended March 31.

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