PC maker Gateway Inc. (stock: GTW) says it will jointly market PCs, Internet access, and related products with Consumer Financial Network, a human-resources portal service company and subsidiary of iXL Enterprises Inc. Gateway also plans to take a $150 million stake in CFN.
The companies are targeting businesses that give their employees computer and Internet access in the office and at home as perks. Employers are looking for ways to provide value to their best employees, and employer-subsidized PC programs are becoming an increasingly important way to empower their workforces, says Rishi Sood, a Gartner Group analyst.
Gateway's planned equity stake in CFN awaits regulatory approval. Gateway's investment, coupled with a $130 million investment in CFN made by other investors in March, reduces iXL's stake in CFN to minority ownership.