Iona Acquires Consultancy to Boost Services Arm

SAN FRANCISCO (06/13/2000) - Iona Technologies Inc. Tuesday announced the purchase of U.S. consultancy Genesis Development Corp. for US$24 million in cash and Iona stock, as a way of increasing the middleware software vendor's professional services offerings.

"Iona is building its field capabilities," Iona Chief Executive Officer Barry Morris said in a phone interview today. "We are getting more aggressive in our corporate development acquisition strategy."

The software company is likely to make further purchases, particularly in order to grow its consulting business and its sales force, Morris said. Iona will be looking at possible acquisition targets both here and outside of the U.S, he added.

Iona is keen to build up a strong services business around its iPortal Suite, Morris said. The suite consists of five main pieces aimed at helping companies quickly construct B2B (business-to-business) enterprise portals by creating new e-business applications out of their existing software investments. Portals are Web sites that act as the first entry points to other resources on the Internet.

The company expects to bring out the final piece of iPortal Suite -- iPortal Server -- on June 26, Morris said.

Genesis Development is Iona's fourth purchase over the last 18 months, according to Morris. The company's three previous buys were of U.K.-based EJBHome Ltd., a developer of Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) technology and components, Aurora Technologies Inc., a U.S. provider of middleware consulting services and U.S. XML (extensible markup language) specialist Watershed Technologies Inc.

Privately-held Genesis Development specializes in helping blue chip customers set up portals and online exchanges through its development expertise in enterprise-level technologies such as XML and Java.

More than 40 people from Genesis will join Iona, bringing with them knowledge of the insurance and financial services markets, according to Jason Matthews, CEO of Genesis Development. Matthews will become Iona's executive vice president of worldwide professional services and will continue to be based out of Genesis Development's headquarters, in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Genesis Development also has offices in Austin, Texas, and Ivrea, Italy, Matthews said, with both locations providing facilities for scalability testing and product evaluation.

Iona, based in Dublin, Ireland, can be reached at +353-1-637-2000 or via the Internet at http://www.iona.com/. The company's U.S. offices are in Waltham, Massachusetts, reachable at +1-781-902-8000. Genesis Development, based in West Chester, Pennsylvania, can be reached at +1-610-429-1553 or via the Internet at http://www.gendev.com/.

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