Struggling incubator Internet Capital Group (ICG) has struck deals with Andersen Consulting, Sun Microsystems and Sara Lee Europe to fund the global expansion of its ICG Commerce e-procurement company.
Andersen has agreed to merge its ePValue e-procurement business with ICG Commerce, and AC Ventures, Andersen's venture capital unit, and Sun have both agreed to make unspecified investments in the new entity. Sara Lee Europe, the company's first customer, has agreed options to buy up to 20 per cent of ICG Commerce.
The new venture will provide large multinationals and mid-sized companies with immediate access to fully operational, turnkey global e-procurement capabilities.
The parties say that ePValue adds a total category management outsourcing capability, particularly relevant to large global companies, to ICG Commerce's existing exchange-based offering that requires no up-front capital investment in software.
The announcement comes less than a week after ICG told Wall Street that it had laid off 35 per cent of its staff, representing 50 people, including 24 at vice president or managing director level. It also said it would concentrate on funding only 15 of its 60 non-public US companies. It will seek external funding for companies it holds in Europe and Asia.
ICG's problems stem from the fact it has been unable to float a company since March due to market conditions, and has not been able to raise sufficient funds to bankroll its collection of startups.
The new look ICG Commerce will have 350 employees in the US and 200 spread across Europe and Asia. Rick Berry, chief executive at the company, said: "All of us share a common vision and commitment to taking a central and leadership role in driving the future of the industry as it consolidates and takes real form."
The companies expect the deal to take 45 days to close. No financial details were released.
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