Unisys to acquire ePresence

Security consulting company Unisys Inc. will purchase the identity management business of Massachusetts company ePresence Inc. for $11.5 million in cash, the companies announced Thursday.

The purchase will transfer ePresence's identity management services business, including employees and customers, to Unisys and will bolster Unisys' position as an identity management consulting company.

The sale will also mean the end for ePresence. The company's Board of Directors announced a plan to liquidate the company's remaining assets in the wake of the sale, ePresence said in an announcement.

ePresence, of Westborough, Massachusetts, provides consulting and systems integration services to companies, with a specialty in enterprise directory technologies like Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory and LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), user single sign-on technology and user provisioning.

The company partners with larger industry players like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems Inc., designing services and tools that allow customers to take advantage of identity management technology like Microsoft's Identity Integration Server 2003 and Sun's ONE (Open Net Environment) Directory Server.

Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, will absorb ePresence's technical staff as well as its clients. However, ePresence's assets, including cash and a majority share of Switchboard Inc. which provides Internet-based yellow pages, are not part of the deal, the companies said.

Unisys said it will use the ePresence purchase to become a "market leader" in the identity management consulting business, rolling the ePresence identity management consulting business into its Zero-Gap Security Services offerings.

In a related announcement, ePresence said Thursday that its board of directors unanimously agreed to sell the company's remaining assets, including over 9.8 million shares of Switchboard, following the sale of the company's services business to Unisys.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2003 and still must be approved by ePresence shareholders, Unisys said.

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