Baan sold to US investor group

A U.S. investment group has agreed to buy Baan Co. NV, a Dutch business software company, from Invensys PLC and merge the unit with another software company in a move to broaden the product and customer base of the new venture.

Invensys has sold Baan to the U.S. private investment group, consisting of Cerberus Capital Management LP and General Atlantic Partners LLC, for US$135 million, the London company said Tuesday in a statement.

The deal comes several weeks after Invensys said it wanted to put Baan up for sale.

Baan is one of nine units that Invensys said it will partially or wholly divest to focus its investment resources on its core production management unit, which offers automation, control and process optimization systems for industrial customers.

Invensys purchased Baan in August 2000 after an accounting scandal sent the once top-tier ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor into a nose-dive.

Later this year, Baan aims to launch a new version of its ERP system, code-named Gemini, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Gemini is tailored for companies in the electronics, industrial machinery and equipment, aerospace and defense, and automotive industries.

Over the next several months, the U.S. investment group plans to combine Baan with SSA Global Technologies Inc., which also supplies enterprise software, according to Baan. Together the two companies will have a combined revenue of $600 million, of which $160 million is license fees, and more than 16,500 customers.

Cerberus Capital Management and Atlantic Partners are backed by nearly $14 billion in investment capital, Baan said.

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