Dutch Exact to buy US Kewill ERP

Dutch software house Exact Holding NV has offered to buy Kewill ERP Inc. for US$19 million in cash in a bid to increase its presence in the U.S., Exact announced Tuesday.

Both Exact of Delft, Netherlands, and Kewill ERP of Minneapolis, Minnesota, specialize in ERP (enterprise resource planning) software for small and medium-size companies.

Kewill ERP sells production automation software under the brand names JobBOSS, MAX and Alliance/MFG. The JobBOSS product, targeted at companies that manufacture to order, is new for Exact, while MAX and Alliance/MFG, used by companies whose products are stocked, overlaps with Exact Globe 2000 and e-Synergy products.

"MAX and Alliance/MFG will be integrated with the Exact products over the next year or two," said Eric van Keimpema, marketing director for Exact. "We will keep the brands, but will change the underlying technology to Exact technology to achieve research and development efficiency."

Kewill ERP has a few thousand customers and generated about $28 million in revenue in its financial year ending March 31, Exact said. The Dutch company itself generated around €38 million ($35 million) in revenue in the U.S. in 2001, about 18 percent of its total 2001 revenue of €206 million, Van Keimpema said.

Exact last year acquired Macola Software and The Kent Group in the U.S.

Kewill ERP will be renamed Exact Software after the takeover, to avoid confusion with Kewill ERP parent Kewill Systems PLC, Exact said. The acquisition is subject to approval by the shareholders of Kewill Systems, Exact said.

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