FreeMarkets bags e-commerce software maker

The business-to-business exchange provider says it is purchasing Adexa for approximately $340 million and names former Oracle executive Ray Lane to its board.

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Business-to-business exchange provider FreeMarkets on Thursday said it is purchasing Adexa, a maker of collaborative e-commerce software, for approximately $340 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, FreeMarkets will issue a total of 17.25 million shares and options in exchange for all of the outstanding stock of Adexa. The stock swap has been approved by the executive boards of both companies, but is still subject to stockholder and government approval, FreeMarkets said in a statement.

Word of the deal comes on the same day that FreeMarkets announced the election of software industry veteran Ray Lane to its board of directors. Lane is a general partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm, and the former president and chief operating officer of software heavyweight Oracle. He recently joined the board of directors of business-to-business software maker Asera.

Adexa, of Los Angeles, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Pittsburgh-based FreeMarkets after the deal closes, which is expected to occur during the second quarter.

The acquisition is intended to help FreeMarkets' customers identify, select and collaborate with trading partners in their private marketplaces, in public exchanges or on the company's B2B Global Exchange.

FreeMarkets joins a growing number of business-to-business software makers and marketplace enablers that are adding collaboration applications and tools to their existing procurement-driven offerings.

In October, auto industry exchange Covisint signed up Nexprise to provide its customers, including auto manufacturers and suppliers, with rentable software with which they can collaborate on creating and modifying virtual project workspaces for procurement and product development.

Last month, business-to-business software maker Ariba said it would team with Vignette, which makes personalized e-commerce software that provides content and product information about goods for promoting them on marketplaces and that enables users to interact with catalogs and other applications.