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IBM registers to sell i2 shares

The company confirms that in the past month it registered to sell about 2 million shares of its e-commerce partner.

IBM registered to sell about 2 million shares of its e-commerce partner i2 Technologies in the past month, the company confirmed Wednesday.

The registrations were disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. IBM and i2 formed a partnership to work on e-commerce issues in March 2000.

IBM will still retain an interest in i2, according to a spokeswoman for IBM. She declined to reveal the size of the stake and whether the shares have actually been sold, noting that the company does not comment on past or future sales.

The registration was part of periodic "adjustments in (IBM's) portfolio of public securities," she said.

IBM registered to sell 1 million shares on May 11, when i2's stock closed at $19.63, and 1 million more on May 16, when the stock closed at $21.91.

IBM invested in i2 last March, when it formed an alliance with both i2 and Ariba. That deal called for i2 to acquire some of IBM's e-business software. Specific financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The alliance between the three companies was initially successful, and beat out companies like Accenture and Oracle for some big contracts. But analysts have said the union was strained by Ariba's attempted acquisition of Agile software. That deal fell through earlier this year.

Today, Reuters reported that European software giant SAP may be in discussions with IBM over a new e-commerce partnership.