USWeb/CKS To Merge With Whittman-Hart - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

USWeb/CKS To Merge With Whittman-Hart

Internet consulting firms USWeb/CKS and Whittman-Hart today announced a merger agreement that will create an 8,000-person organization the companies say will be the largest purely Internet-focused professional-services firm.

Executives at the companies predict a boom in Internet consulting and say the deal, which is expected to be completed by April, will give them the needed scale to serve that demand. While Whittman-Hart has built its business working with fast-growing, middle-market companies, executives of the two companies say size and market distinctions are not important in the current business environment.

"The delineators--Fortune 500, middle market, B2B, bricks and mortar, dot com--have become irrelevant. The commonality among our client base is no longer size or market segment," said USWeb/CKS CEO Robert Shaw, who will be chairman of the new firm. "Our client base is much more defined by a desire to win, a sense of urgency, and a commitment to invest in a vision."

The stock-for-stock swap deal values the combined company at about $14 billion, based on Friday's closing price. The deal will leave USWeb/CKS shareholders owning 57% of the company and Whittman-Hart shareholders owning 43%.

The new company will provide what it calls "integrated digital services" in three broad areas: strategy, marketing and creative, and technology. It plans to continue developing application and managed services that give the firm ongoing revenue, rather than just one-time implementation.

Whittman-Hart CEO Robert Bernard will be CEO of the new company. Whittman-Hart CFO Bert Young and USWeb/CKS chief operating officer Robert Clarkson will retain their titles. The company will be headquartered in Chicago but will keep executive offices in San Francisco. It will have more than 70 offices in 13 countries.

Wall Street gave the news a chilly reception. In afternoon trading, Whittman-Hart's stock had plunged 22-5/8 to 56-5/8, while USWeb/CKS shares fell 4-9/16 to 46-5/16.

One analyst questioned the strategy behind the deal. Christine Ferrusi Ross, an analyst at Forrester Research, said USWeb/CKS and other rival E-business consulting groups have been acquiring through recent deals companies with a specific skill or technology strength to fill out their portfolios. Whittman-Hart does not offer an obvious synergy, Ross says. "What are they getting from Whittman-Hart that they didn't have already?" she said.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
10 Top Cloud Computing Startups
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  8/3/2020
Commentary
How Enterprises Can Adopt Video Game Cloud Strategy
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  7/28/2020
Commentary
Conversational AI Comes of Age
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  8/7/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Special Report: Why Performance Testing is Crucial Today
This special report will help enterprises determine what they should expect from performance testing solutions and how to put them to work most efficiently. Get it today!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll