IBM acquires Mainspring for $80 million

IBM Corp. late Thursday said it would acquire business strategy consulting firm Mainspring Inc. in a deal worth more than US$80 million.

The acquisition is viewed as a move to help bolster the consulting capabilities of IBM's Global Services Division, IBM said in a statement. Under terms of the agreement, IBM will pay $4 per share in cash for all outstanding Mainspring common stock.

John M. Connolly, Mainspring chairman, president and chief executive officer, will become the general manager and global head of e-Business Strategy and Change Practice within Business Innovation Services, the consulting arm of IBM Global Services. Connolly will report to Tom Hawk, general manager for Business Innovation Services, Americas, IBM Global Services.

The deal to acquire Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Mainspring is expected to close in mid-June and is subject to federal regulatory review and shareholder approval, IBM said. Shareholders holding more than 50 percent of the shares in Mainspring have agreed to approve the deal, IBM said.

Mainspring was founded in 1996 and has consulting offices in Cambridge, New York and Chicago. It has been a public company since July 2000 and has more than 60 major corporate clients, the company said in a statement. Mainspring works in four vertical markets: financial services; retail and consumer goods; technology, communications and media and industrial and life sciences, the company said.

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