Divine Grabs More MarchFirst Pieces

Software consultant Divine Inc. has agreed to acquire more of MarchFirst Inc. by signing a deal for the Internet consultant’s HostOne application-hosting unit and the assumption MarchFirst’s obligations to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).

Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The deal is subject to bankruptcy-court approval.

Divine (DVIN) said it agreed with Microsoft (MSFT) to work together to restructure the obligations and integrate HostOne’s operations into Divine’s pact with Microsoft.

MarchFirst owes Microsoft $12 million from an interest-free loan that the software giant provided last year as part of a strategic alliance. Chicago-based MarchFirst (MRCH) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday due to a cash crunch.

Earlier this month, Divine acquired 19 offices and several businesses from MarchFirst in a deal with included 2,100 MarchFirst employees. Thursday, Divine acquired the balance of MarchFirst’s Central Region business unit and also purchased other MarchFirst assets.

MarchFirst was the ill-fated result of the $5.7 billion merger between Whittman-Hart of Chicago and USWeb/CKS of San Francisco in late 1999. The deal was consummated at the peak of the Internet mania on March 1, 2000, and it wasn’t long before dot-coms began to collapse and MarchFirst’s business started to suffer.

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