eGain acquires Inference
Under terms of a purchasing agreement eGain will acquire Inference in exchange for common stock. The move is said to unite eGain's strength in Web-based, multi-channel customer communications with Inference's customer profiling and contact center support capabilities. Officials at eGain say the acquisition “represents another important step in eGain's strategy to extend its leadership in building customer-centric interactive enterprises for Global 2000 and emerging dot.com businesses.” The move more than doubles the size of its global sales, integration and development organization and customer base and will dramatically expand its European business, and add critical new product and technology components to its powerful platform for customer communications and interaction.
The merger is valued at approximately $78.6 million based on the average closing price of eGain's common stock over the 20 trading days ending on March 15. Under the terms of the agreement, Inference shareholders will receive 0.1865 shares of eGain common stock for each share of Inference common stock. This exchange ratio is subject to adjustment if the average closing price of eGain's common stock is above or below specified ranges. Upon completion, Inference stockholders will own approximately 5.5% of eGain's fully diluted common stock. The merger is subject to Inference stockholder and government regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed within the next 90 days.
According to an International Data Corp.), the global customer call center service market will more than double by 2003, reaching an estimated $58.6 billion, including consulting, service and outsourcing. In addition, IDC estimates spending for e-support solutions will jump dramatically from under $2 billion in 1998 to over $14 billion in 2003.
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