P>Accenture announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its venture and investment portfolio to CIBC World Markets, the investment and merchant banking arm of Toronto-based financial services company CIBC. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Accenture will retain a 5 percent stake in the portfolio, which is comprised of approximately 80 early- and mid-stage technology companies, primarily in the software area. Accenture will continue its existing alliances and client relationships with companies in the portfolio. In addition, Accenture and CIBC World Markets plan to enter into an alliance intended to provide CIBC World Markets with access to Accenture's expertise and knowledge of the technology sector while enabling Accenture to continue to build on its relationships with the portfolio companies.

As previously announced, Accenture decided to sell substantially all of its investment portfolio to reduce volatility in future earnings and will discontinue direct venture capital investing and no longer accept illiquid securities from clients or alliance partners.

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