Providers Prescient, viaLink to Merge

Deal brings supply chain solutions together to foster retailer-centric planning

Deal brings supply chain solutions together to foster retailer-centric planning

West Chester, PA — May 27, 2004 — Prescient, a provider of retailer-centric software and services for consumer products companies, and viaLink, provider of synchronization and scan-based trading services to the retail supply chain, have signed a definitive agreement for the companies to merge.

The new company will be known as Prescient Applied Intelligence, with Jane Hoffer, Prescient's president and CEO, taking over the helm of the merged organization. Bob Noe, president and CEO of viaLink, will continue as a consultant to facilitate integration of the companies.

The new company will align Prescient's demand planning and consumer products expertise with viaLink's commerce capabilities and retailer relationships. In a statement, the two companies said that Prescient Applied Intelligence will help retailers and suppliers drive visibility directly from the retail point of sale to more accurately predict demand back across the supply chain.

Each retailer has a different way in which it requires its suppliers to collaborate, including vendor-managed inventory, co-managed inventory, forecast collaboration or scan- or delivery-based trading programs. A retailer-centric approach to supply chain planning allows trading partners to conduct commerce the way that makes the most sense for each relationship, the merging companies assert.

"To compete effectively, manufacturers, distributors and retailers must unite to enable collaboration and demand visibility from the point of sale to generate accurate demand forecasts," said Hoffer. "This approach to planning maximizes relationships between suppliers and their retailer customers and helps to ensure that consumer demand is met at the retailers' shelves."

Kara Romanow, an analyst with technology consultancy AMR Research, wrote in a research note about the merger that the combined Prescient and viaLink company would be better positioned to deliver retailer-centric planning that benefits both trading partners. "In essence, the two are building a demand-driven supply network (DDSN) roadmap for mid-tier suppliers and retailers that integrates into an existing supply chain application, one that is already proving it can provide value by leveraging demand signals," Romanow wrote.

Pending stockholder and regulatory approval, viaLink will acquire all outstanding shares of Prescient in a stock-for-stock transaction. Under terms of the merger agreement, the security holders of Prescient will have approximately a 45 percent stake in the new company, and the security holders of viaLink would continue to hold the remaining 55 percent of the combined company's outstanding shares.

Closing of the transaction is conditioned upon the approval of Prescient's and viaLink's stockholders, as well as other customary closing conditions. Closing is presently anticipated to occur in September.