Software tool supplier Borland has pulled off a coup in the fast emerging object messaging market through the $150 million acquisition of Visigenic.
Visigenic develops and markets VisiBroker, an object request broker based on the Object Management Group's Corba specification. Its technology has been licensed by many big name firms, including Oracle, Netscape and Sybase, making the firm arguably the hottest company in this sector.
Borland chief executive Delbert Yocam said that the purchase of Visigenic is intended to further Borland's goal of becoming an enterprise-level supplier. Object request broker technology can be used to integrate legacy, client server and object oriented applications.
Visigenic founder Roger Sippl will become Borland's chief technology officer following the takeover. Current CTO Rick LeFaivre will become head of research and development.
Visgenic sharehholders will pick up 0.81988 shares of Borland stock for each outstanding share of Visigenic. Around 12.5 million shares of Borland - worth $150 million at today's value - will be issued at the close of the deal in the first quarter of next year.
Yocam also hopes the deal will help restrore Borland's financial fortunes. The company returned a small profit of $1.5 million in its most recent quarter ending 30 September.
But initial reaction from Wall Street was not good as Borland's share price fell $1.50 on news of the deal which was announced at Comsdex in Las Vegas.
One investor commented: 'Visigenic is a company which never made a penney before. Borland needs to pay $150 million for a company with revenue of less than $20 million and lost more than $10 million each year. Why?'
Le Faivre explained that Visigenic's technology would be integrated with Borland's own object oriented middleware. 'Borland's objective is to support all the major standards for distributed computing including Microsoft's COM, DCOM/COM+ and ActiveX technologies, as well as open standards such as DCE,RPC-based distributed computing technology with our Entera middleware technology.
'With the acquisition of Visigenic, a recognized CORBA expert, we will be able to offer a unified middleware infrastructure that will allow companies the flexibility to move from traditional, distributed and legacy applications to object-based distributed applications.'
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