Enterprise spend-management solutions provider Ariba Inc. says its pending acquisition of supply-management solutions provider FreeMarkets Inc. will lead to a more robust set of product offerings to customers. The merger agreement was announced Jan. 23 and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2004. "The complementary strengths of Ariba and FreeMarkets will help accelerate this market and set the standard for spend management solutions," says Bob Calderoni, Ariba president and CEO. Ariba customers, he says, will benefit from richer sourcing services and supply management knowledge; FreeMarkets customers will gain a broader portfolio of solutions. The integrated company will retain the Ariba name and combine the leadership team of both companies, according to Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Ariba. That means Calderoni will become CEO and chairman of the merged entity. FreeMarkets President and CEO Dave McCormick will become president of Ariba and join its board of directors. Ariba says both companies will proceed with all committed product deliveries, with both firms' applications merging into a single platform over time. Ariba and FreeMarkets will continue to service offerings on both platforms until the technologies converge, they said.