Former heavyweight Borland bought by Micro Focus

Borland Software, whose enterprise software heyday was some two decades ago, gets gobbled up in a $75 million transaction.

A correction has been made to this story. See below for details.

Long removed from its glory days, Borland Software has relinquished its independence.

The Austin, Texas-based software maker said Wednesday that it has agreed to be acquired in its entirety by Micro Focus International in a $75 million cash transaction, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies.

Borland has struggled in recent years, grappling with weak revenue growth, workforce reductions, and the lack of a consistent direction. Its results for 2008 showed lower revenue and a higher operating loss compared to results from the previous year. It recently announced a workforce reduction of 15 percent, or 130 employees. Plus, former CEO Tod Nielsen, who it was hoped would get the company back on track, jumped ship early this year to become VMWare's chief operating officer .

Best known in days gone by for products including JBuilder, Delphi, and C++Builder--as well as an unhappy early 1990s takeover of database maker Ashton-Tate--Borland was a software industry heavyweight some two decades ago. It also was notable for its flamboyant then-CEO, Philippe Kahn .

Almost exactly a year ago, Borland sold off its CodeGear software tools division after that group had lost significant ground to open-source alternatives. From 1998 to 2000, the struggling software company went by the name of Inprise before reverting to Borland for its greater name recognition.

Micro Focus, an enterprise software management company, expects the Borland acquisition to help it gain greater market share, increase its customer base, and capture a larger penetration of the U.S. technology market, the company said in a statement. On the question of how to turn around Borland, it said, "Micro Focus has a clearly defined plan to address the financial and operating performance of Borland, with a view to repositioning the business to achieve acceptable returns on sales and investment."

Micro Focus will acquire each outstanding share of Borland common stock for $1 per share, a premium of 25 percent over the closing share price of 80 cents on May 5, and a premium of approximately 67 percent over the average 30-day closing price of 60 cents.

The acquisition is expected to be completed late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2009, according to Borland, subject to approval by shareholders of both companies, U.S. antitrust laws, and other closing conditions.

Correction, May 15, 7:15 a.m. PDT: This story originally mischaracterized Tod Nielsen's role at VMware. He was hired to serve as VMware's chief operating officer.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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