Consolidation continues in content management sector

Content management vendors Open Text and Stellent are broadening their product offerings to customers through new corporate acquisitions, as a recent wave of consolidation in the content management marketplace continues

Content management vendors Open Text and Stellent are broadening their product offerings to customers through new corporate acquisitions, as a recent wave of consolidation in the content management marketplace continues.

In an announcement Wednesday, Waterloo, Ontario-based Open Text said it's acquiring Hamburg, Germany-based web content management software vendor Gauss Interprise, pending approval by Gauss shareholders. The cash tender offer is worth about $US11 million and is expected to close in Open Text's fiscal second quarter of 2004, which ends December 31 2003.

Also in a buying mood is Stellent, which on August 25 announced that it's buying digital asset management software vendor Ancept Inc. to broaden its offerings. Minneapolis-based Ancept's customers include Gap, United Parcel Service, American Greetings and IBM.

Regarding the Open Text deal unveiled Wednesday, CEO Tom Jenkins said in a conference call with financial analysts that his company is continuing a trend of mergers as customers seek more inclusive software packages and a reduction in the number of vendors they do business with on a regular basis. "We think this deal is a good one for both companies," he said.

Open Text will maintain all Gauss products for customers after the planned merger, Jenkins said.

The deal will bring together Open Text's Livelink suite, which has integrated collaboration and content management capabilities, and Gauss' VIP ContentManager web content management capabilities. In Europe, Gauss is a leading developer of web content management software, serving more than 1100 customers worldwide, including BMW, USA Today and Korean Air Lines. Gauss also provides Integrated Document and Output Management software for ERP systems for the automation of invoicing, ordering and insurance claims.

Ron Vangell, CEO of Gauss, said in a statement that the merger will help the companies reposition for a changing software marketplace.

The second deal brings together Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Stellent's Universal Content Management architecture and Ancept Media Server, allowing customers to tie content management and digital asset management into one package, the companies said.

Stellent is acquiring Ancept for $US2 million in cash, plus 100,000 shares of Stellent common stock.

Ancept Media Server allows customers to connect video content editing and other digital assets in the same repository structure as the rest of their enterprise content. The initial integration of the Stellent and Ancept products is scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of Stellent's 2004 fiscal year.

"The ability to manage digital assets is a critical piece of a successful enterprise content management strategy," Dan Ryan, vice president of marketing and business development at Stellent, said in a statement. "The Ancept application fits perfectly within Stellent's single architecture strategy and enhances Stellent's existing digital asset management capabilities."

As part of the acquisition, Stellent hired 18 Ancept employees, primarily in the product development and consulting services areas.

Jeff Stromberg, Ancept's founder and president, has joined Stellent as vice president of business development under the deal. "In order to take full advantage of our opportunity in this space, we felt it was important to be part of a larger organization with greater resources and a more global reach," Stromberg said. "We're excited to join the leader in enterprise content management and look forward to contributing to Stellent's success."

The transaction will have no material effect on Stellent's earnings for the quarter ending September 30 and is expected to be accretive for Stellent's 2004 fiscal year.

Earlier this month, Interwoven and iManage announced that they are merging in a $US171 million deal.

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More about American GreetingsBMW Group AustraliaGauss InterpriseIBM AustraliaiManageInc.InterwovenKorean Air LinesStellentUnited Parcel Service

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