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EDS is close to selling its data management software business for $2.1bn. The Texas company hopes the sale will help cut debt from $5bn to zero by the end of the year.

In a statement released on Sunday the company confirmed it had reached definitive agreement to sell the company to three private equity groups. EDS will sell UGS-PLM to Bain Capital, Silver Lake Partners and Warburg Pincus for $2.05bn. UGS PLM specialises in product lifecycle management, data management and collaboration.

EDS CEO Mike Jordan said: "The transaction is another tangible step in the strategic plan we laid out for investors in June 2003. We said our ongoing focus will be strengthening our core information technology and business process outsourcing operations and our balance sheet."

In 2003 UGS-PLM turned over $897m and made a profit of $104m.

The deal should close within 90 days. The press release is here. ®

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