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SBI to Buy Scient

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NEW YORK -- SBI and Company said Wednesday that it intends to buy certain assets of Scient, a New York-based technology consultancy that has filed for bankruptcy protection.

As a part of the deal, the Salt Lake City-based e-business consultancy will gain 300 Scient staffers, bringing SBI's total head count to 800. It will also add outposts in Chicago, New York, Dallas and London to its eleven-office operation, as well as new clients, particularly the seven to eight that make up 80 percent of Scient's business.

Scient chairman Bob Howe will stay on in a yet to be determined role, according to an SBI representative. As for layoffs as a result of the merger, the representative said, "Most of Scient's layoffs had already taken place. SBI will make offers of employment to as many Scient employees as the business can support."

SBI has committed to provide Scient, which has filed a voluntary petition with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York for relief under Chapter 11, debtor-in-possession financing up to $4.9 million pending the completion of the asset purchase. The two companies said they will jointly present the proposed purchase to the U.S. Bankruptcy Count and expect it to be approved. The acquisition is expected to be complete within the next three months.

Last year, SBI bought some assets of imploded marchFirst; the deal included the Chicago-based interactive agency's Portland, San Francisco and Denver offices and close to 300 employees. In 2001, Scient merged with troubled Atlanta-based i-shop iXL.