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Borland buy may boost tool sales

Borland International says it has completed its acquisition of Visigenic Software and says it will lay out plans for new products next month.

Looking to raise its profile in big corporate IS departments, Borland International (BORL) said today that it has completed its acquisition of Visigenic Software and said it will lay out plans for new products next month.

Borland is exchanging approximately 12 million shares of its common stock, worth $111 million, for Visigenic. The companies' combined 1997 revenues were approximately $188 million, according to Borland.

The company will take a one-time charge, expected to be in the $10 to $12 million range, for restructuring charges related to the acquisition.

Visigenic makes CORBA (common object request broker architecture)-based middleware used to glue component applications, database software, and legacy systems together into working business systems.

The companies plan to build application server software that will combine Visigenic's VisiBroker ORB with Borland's Java, C++, and other development tools.

Borland management sees the addition of Visigenic technology as a calling card for pitching big-ticket tool-and-middleware packages to corporate IS developers. The company has spent the last year or so building its corporate customer list. Roughly half of Borland's revenue now comes from enterprise-targeted products, company executives said. The Visigenic deal is expected to further expand that percentage.

Borland CEO Del Yocam said the company will announce its intentions next month for new products combining technology from both companies. "We will take the months of March and April and assimilate the new technology. During the week of April 27, we will lay out our strategy and direction for distributed object computing."

Borland plans to lay off roughly 50 of Visigenic's 200 employees, Yocam said. Sixty to 70 of Visigenic's remaining employees will staff a new Borland research and development facility at Visigenic's San Mateo, California, headquarters. The remaining Visigenic workers will continue in sales, service, and consulting roles, Yocam said.

Roger Sippl, founder and former CEO of Visigenic, will now serve as Borland's chief technology officer.