Restructuring Plan Gives Lante a Lift

Lante Corp. (Nasdaq: LNTE) picked up 3/32to 1 15/16 early Tuesday after the Internet consulting services company said it will close two Asian offices, cut staff, and take a charge to earnings as part of a plan to “reposition” its business and save money.

The Chicago, Illinois-based company said it will reduce its workforce by about 19 percent, leaving it with a total of about 500 employees. The offices being closed are in Singapore and Delhi, India.

The moves will save about US$4 million a year beginning in the first quarter,and will help the company break even on a cash basis during the first halfof next year, Lante said.

To cover costs associated with the restructuring, Lante said it will take anon-cash charge of $7 million to $10 million in the fourth quarter. The”cash impact” will be about $2 million, the company said.

With $86 million in cash and no debt as of November 30th, the company said itsbalance sheet “remains strong.”

Chief executive officer Rudy Puryear said demand for the company’s serviceshas “shifted rapidly.” As a result, he said, the company will expand itsofferings to include e-market adoption and integration services.

“We did not react as quickly as we should have to the speed and magnitude ofthis dramatically changing environment,” Puryear said.

The company said it will also focus on retaining existing employees, beefingup its benefits programs and providing stock and option grants. “Despite thechallenging market conditions, our people are continuing to deliverworld-class solutions for our clients,” Puryear said.

Lante, like other Internet consultants, has suffered as many companies cut backon spending. The company lost 14 cents per share in the third quarter,double the 7 cent loss of a year earlier.

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