Email outsourcing firm Critical Path has acquired Meta directory specialist Isocor for $287 million.
The move follows Microsoft's planned purchase of Isocor's arch rival Zoomit in July and signals further consolidation in the directory services world. But analysts were surprised by the purchase as they had speculated that Isocor would be an attractive acquisition for the Sun-Netscape Alliance in anticipation of the appearance of Microsoft's Active Directory as part of the Windows 2000 operating system.
Critical Path provides outsourced email services to corporates and the acquisition of Isocor will enable it to sell its own email products in addition to managing third party environments.
A Critical Path spokesperson said: "The acquisition gives us an email solution, directory technology and a global presence through Isocor's international offices."
Critical Path currently has small offices in the UK, Germany and France, but these will be integrated with Isocor's sites in eight international cities. Paul Gigg, Isocor's president and chief executive will join Critical Path as executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Critical Path includes such customers as Etrade and Alta Vista, while Isocor boasts BT, UUNet and Procter & Gamble.
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