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NEED TO SELL?

GXS Inc., a provider of business-to-business e-commerce services, looks like a candidate for a sale given that it has been in the portfolio of technology specialist Francisco Partners for almost 10 years. 

The company is two years into a merger with another provider of business-to-business e-commerce services. By now potential buyers should be getting more clarity on how the combined companies complement each other

Based in Gaithersburg, Md., GXS offers a platform called GXS Trading Grid, which supports on-demand supply chain management services for companies; the platform includes global messaging, data synchronization tools and outsourcing services. The company’s products serve companies in the automotive, high-tech, consumer products, retail and financial services industries.

Francisco Partners bought the company, then known as General Electric Global Exchange Services, from General Electric Co. in September 2002 for $800 million. Since then, the company has made at least three acquisitions, according to Capital IQ.

The most recent came in June 2010, when it paid $300 million to buy Inovis International Inc., another provider of business-to-business e-commerce services, from Golden Gate Capital, Cerberus Capital Management and other investors. Combined, the company boasts that it is “the world’s largest network of integrated business communities, with deep vertical expertise and the most expansive global footprint,” with more than 40,000 customers and operations in more than 20 countries, according to a press release.

In 2011, the company, which has publicly traded debt, generated total revenue of $479.9 million, a 15 percent rise from 2010, while its EBITDA of $155.2 million had risen 11 percent over the year before, according to the company.

GXS isn’t the only aging investment in Francisco Partners’s portfolio that the firm may exit soon. The firm’s portfolio includes 10 companies, including GXS, in which the firm first invested in 2007 or earlier.

Executives at Francisco were not immediately available for comment.