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Shareholder calls for Borland breakup

Robert Coates says he is developing a plan to break off Borland's development tool product units as separate companies.

Robert Coates, a shareholder and former board member of Borland Software, has said that he will submit a plan to spin off some product lines in order to "restore Borland's market value." In a statement issued Wednesday, Coates said he is developing a plan to break off Borland's different development tool product units as separate companies to better serve customers. "This will also allow Borland to deliver dependable and sustainable growth in revenues and earnings from a core set of products," Coates said in the statement.

Once a large player in the development tools business, Borland is facing increasing competition from open-source alternatives and larger companies, notably IBM and Microsoft. The company's CEO, Dale Fuller, resigned earlier this month when Borland said its second-quarter loss would be larger than expected. The forthcoming plan by Coates is one of several actions he has taken. In May, he issued a statement calling on shareholders to play a more active role in shaking up Borland's management. And in late 2003, he submitted a proxy resolution to have Borland board members elected annually by shareholders.