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Calico Commerce buys ConnectInc.com for $90 million

    Recently public Calico Commerce Inc., (Nasdaq: CLIC) made its first purchase Friday, acquiring ConnectInc.com (Nasdaq: CNKT) for about $90 million to improve its eSales electronic commerce suite.

    Shares of Calico were down 1/8 to 66 7/8, having spiked since the company soared in its October debut. Shares in ConnectInc.com, which provides technology and services to connect buying and selling companies via the Internet, were up 9/16 to 4 3/16.

    Calico will expand its customer-focused program, Calico eSales, with the addition of product catalog, order management and process automation capabilities from ConnectInc.com. This technology is key to Calico's strategy for providing e-commerce applications for companies that sell complex products over the web, the company said.

    The agreement is structured as a stock for stock merger, and Calico will issue about 1.2 million shares at the rate of .081 share of its stock for each share of ConnectInc.com for about $90 million at current prices. The transaction should close in the first quarter of 2000, pending regulatory approval.

    Alan Naumann, president and CEO, Calico Commerce said the acquisition is an important step in Calico's strategy to expand its offerings. Calico eSales guides buyers through a personalized purchasing process based on their profiles. Calico's customers include Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Gateway (NYSE: GTW), Kodak (NYSE: K), Nortel (NYSE: NT) and Merrill Lynch. It will use ConnectInc.com's MarketStream 2.0 to integrate product catalog, order management and business-to-business e-commerce process functionality.