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IN BRIEF / Technology

SBC Gets Offer for Sterling Commerce Unit

September 13, 2002|Bloomberg News

SBC Communications Inc. received an offer of about $1 billion for its Sterling Commerce software unit, which SBC bought 2 1/2 years ago for almost four times as much, according to people familiar with the matter. The bid from buyout firms Silver Lake Partners and Texas Pacific Group faces competition from another offer from Francisco Partners of Menlo Park, Calif., the people said.

A sale of the electronic commerce software unit would allow SBC to reduce its reliance on short-term debt as it struggles with falling profit. The proceeds also may help finance a bid by SBC's Cingular Wireless joint venture for VoiceStream Wireless Corp., analysts said.

Spokesmen for SBC, Silver Lake Partners, Texas Pacific and Francisco Partners declined to comment.

SBC shares fell $1 to $24.85 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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