SBI to Acquire Lante for $1.10 a Share

Move comes just two days after SBI announced plans to acquire financially strapped Scient Inc. Scient Files for Chapter 11

SBI and Co. today continued its Web boutique acquisition spree, announcing plans to acquire Lante Corp.

The move comes just two days after SBI announced plans to acquire financially strapped Scient Inc. SBI said it is tendering its offer to acquire Lante for $1.10 a share--a 100 percent premium over yesterdays closing price.

Separately, Lante announced at the close of markets today that it is laying off approximately 22 percent of its workforce, or 45 employees.

The Salt Lake City-based SBI valued the deal at about $41 million. The company is not taking on any debt in the process but is instead relying on its venture capital backers to finance the acquisition, officials said.

"These businesses weve pulled in will be immediately profitable within the SBI umbrella," said Ty Mattingly, vice president of corporate development at SBI in Salt Lake City. "We fully expect to run these businesses profitably day one."

Mattingly said that Lante has "quite a bit of cash" and is on a path to profitability. Some 100 to 150 Lante employees will transition to SBI when the acquisition closes in the third quarter of this year, and SBI will acquire about 50 Lante clients.

Lante will bring greater geographic coverage to the table with its Chicago headquarters and offices in Seattle, Dallas, Houston and New York. At the same time, it will bring a greater focus on the energy/chemical vertical market segment, Mattingly said.

Both the Lante and Scient acquisitions will bring greater breadth to SBIs services offerings.

"We now have a business thats geographically balanced, strong in six verticals, we do business process optimization at the high end and we have strong technology offerings—especially web services, .Net and J2ee capabilities with Scient and Lante. It is a hypey marketplace, but we have real projects that have engaged with customers in helping to migrate to a .Net or Java web services strategy," he said.