Baltimore loses potential buyer for Content

14 January 2002 Troubled security software vendor Baltimore Technologies has suffered a further setback in its struggle to stay afloat after the leading bidder for its Content Technologies business withdrew its offer.

Venture capital group Apax Partners is believed to have offered around £50 million (€81.2m) for Content Technologies – a company which Baltimore purchased less than 18 months ago in a stock deal worth around £700 million (€1.1bn) at the time. That deal precipitated a long slide in Baltimore’s stock price from around £10 (€16.2) then to just 15 pence today.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company hoped that the acquisition of Content’s MIMEsweeper software – a monitoring product that helps protect an organisation against confidentiality breaches, misuse of the web and email, and email-borne viruses – would enable it to compete in the burgeoning content security market.

However, Baltimore has since been beset by problems including plunging revenues, mounting losses, widespread job cuts and a series of senior management defections.

CEO Fran Rooney left the company in July 2001 and his replacement Paul Sanders followed three months later in October. Rooney is currently suing his former employer over comments that new CEO Bijan Khezri made about him to journalists at a press conference in October 2001.

Baltimore executives claim they still have three or four potential bidders for Content Technologies, but analysts speculate that Baltimore will struggle to raise enough cash from the sale to stay in business.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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