Micro Focus buys Borland for £50m

Another once-iconic IT company has changed hands for a fire-sale price. Today, application modernisation vendor Micro Focus announced its plan to buy development tools supplier Borland for £50 million.

Until the news was announced, Borland’s market capitalisation was around $50 million, so Micro Focus’s offer represents a premium. But it is nevertheless a bargain price for a company that was once considered a competitor to the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.

Borland has in recent times focused on the enterprise end of the software development market, pitching itself as an application life-cycle modernisation (ALM) player. Exactly one year ago, it sold its developer tools division CodeGear to Embarcadero for $23 million.

In January, Borland CEO Todd Nielsen left to become chief operating officer of virtualisation software pioneer VMware. “It’s definitely not a demotion,” he told Information Age recently.

Micro Focus also announced today plans to acquire the software testing division of software and IT services company Compuware for £53 million, as well as a preliminary yearly revenue figure of $228.2 million, up 20% from last year. As companies look to squeeze more value from the existing assets in the face of an IT spending freeze, application management companies such as Micro Focus stand to gain.

“Acquiring Borland and the Compuware Testing and ASQ Business is consistent with our strategy outlined in 2006 of combining organic growth with selective acquisitions to extend our addressable market and drive further growth in both revenues and profits. Borland and the Compuware testing and [application software quality] ASQ business are complementary to each other and to the Micro Focus core business,” CEO Stephen Kelly said in a statement.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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