IBM Alliance Boosts Open Market

Open Market, Inc. (Nasdaq: OMKT) closed Tuesday at 1 3/8, up 9/32, after thee-business software maker announced an alliance with IBM.

Burlington, Massachusetts-based Open Market said the agreement with IBMGlobal Financing will allow it to provide customers with the option tofinance hardware, software, maintenance and training.

IBM Global Financing has an approach that “is tailoredto meet our customers’ particular needs, helping them make the ITinvestments they require to remain competitive,” said Joe Alwan, senior vicepresident of marketing at Open Market.

The agreement builds on a relationship Open Market has with IBM GlobalServices, which provides consulting and other services for Open Market’se-business software.

Open Market shares have fallen from a 52-week high of 65 1/2, amid a drop indemand for e-business services. In October, the company announced arestructuring that included 150 job cuts, as it seeks to focus onhigher-margin services.

Also in October, the company reported a net loss of US$12.4 million, or 27cents per share, for the third quarter, compared with a loss of $2.8million, or 6 cents, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue edged up to $22.3million from $20.6 million.

Fourth-quarter 2000 results will include a $6 million to $7 millionrestructuring charge to cover cost cuts aimed at reducing expenses by $3million to $4 million per quarter. The company expects its restructuring plan to boost performance in 2001.

Open Market’s roster of customers includes Lycos.com, AOL.com, the Wall Street Journal, Ingram Micro and Siemens.

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