Enterasys sells Aprisma unit

Enterasys Networks Inc. this week announced it has sold network management software company Aprisma Management Technologies Inc. to Gores Technology Group Inc.

The deal is effective immediately, and the terms of the deal were not disclosed. Gores Technology Group (GTG) is a Los Angeles-based acquisition and management company.

Enterasys has had its share of accounting and leadership worries in past months. In a statement, Enterasys CEO Bill O'Brien said, "The sale of Aprisma strengthens our focus on Enterasys' core business, the network needs of enterprise customers."

The company declined to comment further because the terms of the deal are subject to nondisclosure obligations. Enterasys remains under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for accounting discrepancies between different contracts pertaining to the same $4 million account within its Asia Pacific region.

Aprisma representatives did say the company will continue with its network management software development, and Aprisma headquarters will remain in Portsmouth, N.H.

GTG got all of Aprisma's assets, customers, products and employees in the transaction. A spokesman said Aprisma is looking forward to continuing on as an independent software company, no longer directly connected to a hardware maker. Aprisma had planned to become independent of Enterasys earlier this year, but instead the company found itself cutting staff.

In February 2000, the now-defunct Cabletron Systems Inc. announced a major restructuring plan, which involved splitting the firm, with Cabletron acting as a holding company. From the breakup came Riverstone Networks Inc., which sells metropolitan-area network service provider equipment; Enterasys, which makes enterprise LAN gear; Global Network Technology Services (GNTS), which sells professional IT services; and Aprisma Management Technologies, which develops and sells the Spectrum network management platform (Aprisma's formation was announced in June 1999). Until this week, Aprisma remained part of Enterasys.

"The synergistic relationship with GTG provides Aprisma with the independence and financial backing to aggressively pursue its strategic goal of being a leader in Service Level Intelligence," Aprisma President and CEO Mike Skubisz said in a statement. "As noted by GTG, the separation from Enterasys will give us the freedom to leverage our proven Spectrum technology to pursue new industry relationships and key strategic markets otherwise not open to Aprisma."

Aprisma says the acquisition will help it better serve its customers. Kim Kloskey agrees. Kloskey, lead WAN data network engineer at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee and a Spectrum software user, says she is excited about the purchase.

"I think it is a positive move and allows for hopefully additional development of the Spectrum software in strategic areas that we at Aurora are concerned about," Kloskey says. She says Aprisma informed its customers in advance that it was looking for private investors to help it gain independence from Enterasys.

Although Aprisma has not made many specific promises and she says she knows little of GTG, Kloskey adds, "I am looking forward to some very cool things happening in the near future."

Aprisma posted some answers to questions regarding the acquisition as well as Skubisz's letter to customers on its Web site.

Representatives from GTG were not available to comment at press time.

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