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NerveWire, Northeast Consulting to merge

The business-to-business Web consultant says it is expanding its footprint by merging with the veteran business management consulting firm.

NerveWire today said it is already expanding its footprint by merging with industry veteran Northeast Consulting Resources.

Needham, Mass.-based NerveWire, founded in September, provides consulting services to companies, building business-to-business Web initiatives that help connect them to their business partners and suppliers. Boston-based Northeast Consulting is a management consulting firm focused on advising clients on business strategy.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Northeast Consulting's clients include 3M, Dupont, Cisco, Nokia, Sun Microsystems and Tivoli. The company targets pharmaceutical and chemical firms, financial services and high tech.

NerveWire, led by former Cambridge Technology Partners executive Malcolm Frank, helps businesses adapt their operations for the Web, building the systems required to support buyers and sellers interacting on digital markets and exchanges.

NerveWire is backed by Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, which has invested $60 million in the company.

Founded in 1984, privately-held Northeast Consulting has 28 employees and offers consulting in areas ranging from e-business to IT services to Net hosting. In an interview, the company's president, David Mason, said Northeast was searching for a pre-IPO partner with computer integration skills. Mason said both companies have a similar goal: to help customers prepare for the "cataclysmic" impact the Web will have on their industries.

"They can see it coming but they don't know what to do yet," he said.

"We started talking pretty quickly," said Frank, who launched NerveWire, which will keep its name, in October. Combined, the companies will have 60 employees.

Frank said the combined companies will likely merge soon with one other firm before shifting to a recruiting strategy, rather than making more acquisitions.