Closing in on its final days, e-marketplace Omnexus has sold its online service offerings to SpecialChem SA, a Paris-based Web information provider for chemicals and plastics markets.
The sale, for undisclosed terms, is one of the last steps for Omnexus as it winds down operations. The firm discontinued its transaction platform Nov. 28 and plans to lay off its remaining seven or eight employees by the end of the year, Chief Operating Officer Michael Walsh said Dec. 4.
Omnexus had about 45 workers, primarily in Zurich, Switzerland, and Atlanta, before deciding to close late last month.
SpecialChem does not plan on hiring any Omnexus employees, although the company will continue Omnexus' news service and Web seminars, said SpecialChem founder and Chief Operating Officer Christophe Cabarry, in a telephone interview from Paris.
Omnexus also sold its material data and applications center Dec. 5 to M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH of Aachen, Germany. The company plans to integrate Omnexus' materials database with its own sources to provide information on more than 8,000 grades of resin.
SpecialChem will continue the Omnexus name for its news service - adding the verbiage ``Powered by SpecialChem'' - and will run the service internally from Paris, Cabarry said. The transition will start Dec. 8.
The independently funded French company offers technical resources and a materials database to specialized segments of the plastics and chemicals industry. It launched in 2000 by offering information for the polymer additives and coatings market and since has added information for both the adhesives and sealants sector and in paints, coatings and inks.
SpecialChem will launch a new plastics sector with the purchase of Omnexus' services, Cabarry said. It will start by offering news, including technical articles, and online seminars. The company plans to add Omnexus' e-marketing services in the second phase and survey customers on how it can provide other information, he said.
``The [news service and seminars] were the winners at Omnexus, and most people appreciated those services,'' Cabarry said. ``We have to make a smooth transition for users of the Web site on a regular basis and get them acquainted with the new SpecialChem-powered platform.''
Currently, about 40 percent of SpecialChem's users are in North America, Cabarry said. Even though the news service will be operated from Paris, the company would like to continue to serve a North American audience, he said.
Its customers also include large global suppliers such as DuPont Co., Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Eastman Chemical Co. and Solvay SA.
SpecialChem may run up against another news service that is about to start. Patrick Toensmeier, former editor-in-chief of Modern Plastics, is launching a biweekly newsletter, Plastics Business Report.
The newsletter, to begin Jan. 12, will provide information and analysis for industry executives, Toensmeier said.