M & A Roundup

For some software companies 2003 would not wind down quietly. At the end of the year several companies announced key mergers and acquisitions, which these firms hope will better position themselves for growth in 2004. Primus Knowledge Solutions has acquired Europe-based Amacis Group Limited
, a provider of e-commerce management solutions to global enterprises. This acquisition adds complementary email and wireless technologies to Primus's customer service and support software solutions, the company says. "The eService market is demanding that solutions provide both strong knowledge-base capabilities and abilities to respond to all forms of communication, from Web self-service and wireless messaging to email interactions," chairman and CEO of Primus Michael Brochu says. "The acquisition of Amacis expands our presence both globally and within key vertical markets, such as telecommunications and financial services." Amdocs Limited, a provider of billing and CRM products and services, last week announced that it reached an agreement to acquire XACCT Technologies, a privately held provider of mediation software to communications service providers (CSPs). Amdocs will acquire XACCT's outstanding shares for about $29.5 million, of which approximately $13.5 million will be paid in cash and the balance in Amdocs shares. This acquisition further expands the scope of Amdocs billing capabilities in the network mediation space, providing the capability for supporting end-to-end event processing for voice, data, content, and commerce-prepaid and postpaid transactions. "The acquisition of XACCT will expand our current offerings and market presence in mobile, wireline, and cable segments," Eli Gelman, executive vice president of Amdocs Management Limited, said in a statement. "We know the XACCT platform well and we are confident that it will complement our unique ability to facilitate rapid time-to-market of voice, data, content, and commerce services, enabling CSPs to seamlessly link their networks with their customers, achieving stronger, more profitable customer relationships." BMC Software announced this month it intends to acquire Magic Software, a division of Network Associates, for $47 million in cash. BMC says the acquisition gives them a stronger presence in the medium-size business marketplace, which it defines as companies with between 1,000 and 2,500 employees. BMC will fold Magic's help desk solutions into its Remedy unit. The company says Magic's browser-based, easy-to-implement solution is a good fit for SMBs and Remedy customers. Progress Software has acquired DataDirect Technologies, a privately held company specializing in standards-based data access components for software developers, for $88 million in cash. Progress Software, which helps enterprises develop, deploy, integrate, and manage business applications, says it will add DataDirect's XML capabilities to its existing solutions.
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