IBM, the world's largest computer maker, has retained Merrill Lynch to assist with the potential sale. Although IBM did not reveal who is interested in buying its global network, the company said there are "a number of interested parties, including major telecommunications companies."
The company confirmed it was exploring the sale of the unit two weeks after people familiar with the plan had said the company was trying to sell the network for $3 billion to $4 billion, Bloomberg News reported.
In the event of a sale, IBM would continue to provide fully integrated, strategic outsourcing services, including designing and managing global network solutions. However, instead of operating and maintaining its own network infrastructure to deliver these offerings, the company would acquire the necessary connectivity services for itself and its customers from the prospective purchaser and others.
This would allow IBM to focus more on its core strengths of providing information technology and e-business services, including Web content hosting, electronic data interchange, Lotus Notes deployment, network services consulting, e-business advisory services, and network application integration.
Bloomberg News contributed to this report.