Open Text acquires Ixos

The content management marketplace is abuzz with the merger of two key players for the second week in a row with the announcement that Open Text is planning to acquire Ixos Software.

Open Text said it would pay about US$250 million for Ixos stock. The acquisition, if approved by shareholders and others, is expected to be completed within four months.

Last week, storage vendor, EMC, acquired content management vendor, Documentum, in a $1.7 billion deal that brought together two complementary partners.

The Ixos deal is the second acquisition for Open Text since August, when the company announced the acquisition of German Web content management software vendor, Gauss Interprise. On the same day, competitor, Stellent, bought digital asset management software vendor, Ancept.

Open Text, which specialises in knowledge management and document collaboration for users, said it would gain Ixos' groupware integration, datacentric applications, transaction support and ERP (enterprise resource planning) expertise.

President of Ixos, Matt Suffoletto, said the merger brought size, scalability, financial confidence and complementary product lines for customers. More and more large corporate customers were looking to buy packages of technology from larger, more established companies rather than making piecemeal purchases from smaller vendors, he said.

"With that comes confidence, which plays into even more [buying] decisions being made," Suffoletto said. "What we have is a blend, a marriage of leaders in document management and collaboration."

Open Text has about 1200 employees and revenue of $178 million in the last fiscal year. Ixos has about 900 workers and revenue of about $145 million in the last fiscal year.

Vice-president of products at Open Text, Anik Ganguly, said staffing would be reviewed after the merger, but that since there was little overlap between the markets of the two companies, few jobs were expected to be affected.

After the merger, Open Text is expected to reorganise into two divisions. A North American division will have global responsibility for collaboration and knowledge management products. The European-based division in Munich will have global responsibility for content management and archiving.

The Ixos name will remain as a division of Open Text. Gauss Interprise will also be part of the European content management division. Ixos CEO, Robert Hoog, will become head of the European organisation at Open Text.

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