Article

ATG to acquire Primus

Jack Loftus, News Writer

Art Technology Group Inc. plans to acquire customer-service software specialist Primus Knowledge Solutions Inc. in a stock deal valued at roughly $30 million.

The acquisition, expected to close in the fourth quarter, is one of the larger deals to hit the consolidating e-service industry in the last year. According to ATG, for the 12-month period ending on June 30, the two companies had combined revenue of more than $90 million.

Cambridge, Mass.-based ATG makes e-commerce and marketing applications, with a particular emphasis on content management. Primus, headquartered in Seattle, focuses on technical support software, especially high-tech maintenance. Its main competitors are companies like iPhrase Technologies Inc. and Kanisa Inc.

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"It's a very comfortable fit and a very smart move by ATG," according to Allen Bonde, president of Allen Bonde Group Inc., a Wellesley Hills, Mass.-based consultancy.

The Primus acquisition comes on the heels of ATG's February rollout of its Adaptive Customer Assistance self-service software. This should accelerate the company's move into self-service, Bonde said.

Unlike some competitors, Bonde said ATG can now "complete the loop" in the customer management life cycle -- serving as a single vendor for online sales to post-transaction service technology.

The acquisition is subject to shareholder approval. Once combined, the companies expect to save $10 million to $15 million in expenses.


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