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Corel trims staff after takeover

The Canadian software maker, which recently went private, says it's laying off 18 percent of its work force as it focuses on core products such as CorelDraw.

Troubled software maker Corel, which recently went private, announced Thursday that it plans to cut its work force by 18 percent.

The company said it will lay off about 125 employees worldwide, including 73 that work at the company's headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.

CEO Derek Burney said in a statement that the layoffs were in line with recent decisions to focus on core products such as its CorelDraw graphics software, its WordPerfect productivity applications, and its emerging line of tools for creating content based on XML (Extensible Markup Language).

"Today's decision, though difficult, was necessary to eliminate the additional costs associated with public ownership and meet the company's business objective of profitability," Burney said in the statement. "It will also deliver enhanced benefits to our customers and partners as we focus more of our resources on the CorelDraw and WordPerfect business lines. In addition, we'll continue to pursue long-term revenue opportunities for the company's iGrafx and XML-based products."

A Corel representative said the company would continue to support and develop other products, such as Painter, a high-end graphics tool.

Corel shareholders voted last August to approve a $98 million buyout offer from Vector Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm. The takeover followed years of losses and several rounds of layoffs by the software maker, which was kept afloat partly by a $135 million investment from Microsoft.

The company enjoyed a spurt of momentum last year, when many major PC makers agreed to preload WordPerfect on low-end models. But the deals didn't produce much revenue for Corel, and several of the PC makers have since gone back to Microsoft Works.