GNX AND WWRE ANNOUNCE MERGER

PARIS -- GlobalNetXchange (GNX), Chicago, and the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), Alexandria, Va., the two major retailer-based trading exchanges formed in 2000 at the peak of the Internet boom, announced last week that they've agreed to merge, each company contributing $10 million to the combined entity.The announcement was made here at the ECR Europe conference.The agreement, which has been approved

PARIS -- GlobalNetXchange (GNX), Chicago, and the WorldWide Retail Exchange (WWRE), Alexandria, Va., the two major retailer-based trading exchanges formed in 2000 at the peak of the Internet boom, announced last week that they've agreed to merge, each company contributing $10 million to the combined entity.

The announcement was made here at the ECR Europe conference.

The agreement, which has been approved by the executive boards of both companies, is expected to become final at the end of June, according to Joe Laughlin, current chief executive officer of GNX, who will serve as CEO of the new company. The combined entity will operate under a new name that's still to be determined. Christopher Sellers, the current CEO of WWRE, will serve as executive chairman of the new company.

The merger ends years of speculation that two of the major consumer packaged goods industry Web exchanges -- the other is Chicago-based Transora -- would eventually join forces. "Since GNX and the WWRE were founded more than five years ago, the industry has sought a partnership between the two organizations," said Sellers, in a statement.

The merger brings together 45 of the largest global retailers and suppliers that belong to GNX or WWRE. GNX's customers include Kroger and Kmart, while WWRE's charter members include Ahold, Albertsons, Safeway and Delhaize Group.

The new company, according to a statement, "has the secure backing of multiple-year subscription agreements across the retailer investor group."

The two companies said they will combine their technology solutions into a single platform, leveraging the greater scale economies to reduce the "costs of goods and cost to serve."

Both companies offer auctions/sourcing and collaborative planning forecasting and replenishment (CPFR), and those applications will be rationalized, the companies said.

In addition, the new company will continue to offer supplier performance management, private-label product development and serve as a data pool for the Global Data Synchronization Network.