Friday, April 06, 2007

WebMethods sells itself to Software AG

I said a couple of months ago that webMethods needed to shake up a bit. Well, now they've sold out to Software AG - originally best known in the 1980s for its Adabas database and Natural reporting, more recently a player in the XML / SOA world with Tamino and EntireX.

WebMethods was founded in 1996 and its IPO in 200 marked a high point of the EAI boom; an offer price of $35.00 turned into an opening of $195 and a first day close of $212. The price reached over $300 quite quickly, but since then has trended fairly steadily down to today's sub $10. Not a good investment overall!

Software AG wants this to be "a major step in [their] plans to more than double revenue to EUR 1 billion (USD $1.3 billion)." WebMethods' $200 odd million of annual revenue is a big - if barely profitable - step in that direction.

An article at Barrons notes that the share price is now trading above the offer - a sign that some in the market are expecting a higher bid (the analyst doesn't think they will be in luck).

The deal has pushed up Tibco's price too - on hopes that they will be the next target, perhaps.

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