10 December 2002 Ailing network management software vendor Orchestream is to be acquired by MetaSolv, a telecoms network management software supplier, in a deal that values the once high-flying company at just £7.9 million (€12.3m).
The transaction means that Orchestream will be sold for just 1% of the £800 million (€1.3bn) market capitalisation it reached at the height of the technology stock boom. When Orchestream floated in 2000 it was worth more than £300 million (€468.5m).
However, sales and cash flow deteriorated to such an extent during the telecoms and dot-com crash that it was forced to issue a warning in August that it would run out of money before the end of this year without a major re-financing.
Its finances for the quarter underlined the scale of the crisis that Orchestream was facing. In the three months to the end of September, it reported sales of just £2.1 million (€3.3m), a 34% fall on the same quarter a year ago. Its cash reserves stood at just £7.2 million. (€11.3m).
By acquiring Orchestream, Plano, Texas-based MetaSolv will gain a number of big-name customers, including mobile operator Orange, its parent company France Telecom and Finnish national telecoms operator Sonera. MetaSolv also hopes to cross-sell software to the customers of both companies.
MetaSolv intends to integrate Orchestream’s flagship Internet Protocol (IP) service activation software with its portfolio of modular operations support system for IP and mobile services.