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Intuit Sells Online-Billing Unit

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Intuit Inc. sold its Quicken Bill Manager business to Princeton eCom, a closely held bill payment and presentment company.

The companies said the deal is designed to combine the well-known Quicken brand name with Princeton eCom's billing experience and expertise.

By later this year, Princeton eCom, of Princeton, N.J., will provide billing and payment services to the consumers who currently receive and pay their bills through the Quicken.com Web site, as well as the Excite and Webcrawler sites. The company also will provide bill-payment services on Intuit's Quicken Desktop.

Under the terms of the deal, Princeton eCom acquired the assets of Quicken Bill Manager through the purchase of certain technologies from Intuit and all of Venture Finance Software Corp., a subsidiary of Intuit. Intuit will receive either an equity stake in Princeton eCom equivalent to 20% of the company's outstanding shares, measured shortly after the transaction closes, or cash at Princeton eCom's discretion. The transaction closed Wednesday.

The deal "might be more accurately described as a long-term relationship than a sale or an acquisition,"said Princeton eCom Chief Executive Curt Welling in a prepared statement.

About 25 Intuit (INTU) employees based in California will become Princeton eCom employees. They will work out of Princeton eCom's California office.

In October, Princeton eCom raised $34 million in financing led by Mellon Ventures.

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