Linux vendor Mandrakesoft to acquire Conectiva

France's Mandrakesoft plans to acquire Brazil's largest Linux vendor, Conectiva, both companies said in a joint statement yesterday. The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Mandrakesoft will purchase the company in exchange for US$2.36 million in stock.

With just over 3% of the worldwide Linux market, MandrakeSoft is the No. 4 Linux vendor, after Red Hat, Novell and Turbolinux, according to research firm IDC.

IDC ranked Conectiva No. 6 worldwide in 2003, the last year for which data was available. The company employs 60 people in offices in Curitiba, Sao Paulo and Manaus, Brazil. Conectiva's revenues totaled US$2.2 million during its most recent fiscal year, the statement said.

The acquisition will strengthen Mandrakesoft's international position and offer the company "greater opportunity for continued expansion," said Francois Bancilhon, CEO of Mandrakesoft.

Mandrakesoft had revenue of US$6.83 million and net income of US$1.83 million in its most recent fiscal year, the company said. That represents quite a turnaround for a company that three years ago was appealing directly to users for help paying its bills. Mandrakesoft entered bankruptcy in 2003 and emerged in March 2004.

Officials at neither Mandrakesoft nor Conectiva were available for comment.

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