Stock Watch: Merger Plan Lifts, Inc. (Nasdaq: PHCM) rose 13 1/16 to 91 1/8 after the company agreed to merge with Inc. (Nasdaq: SWCM) in a deal aimed at creating a software “powerhouse” for wired and wireless Internet providers.

After the merger, which will swap 1.6105 shares for each outstanding share, each company will own a 50 percent stake in the new company. Donald J. Listwin, who announced his resignation as executive vice president at Cisco Systems, will join the new company as president and chief executive officer.

Directors of both companies unanimously approved the definitive merger agreement. Together, the companies count among their customers AT&T Corp., Nextel, [email protected], Verizon Wireless, British Telecom and Telecom Italia. shares also gained on the news, closing up 34 11/16 at 142 7/16.

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