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Microsoft Completes Acquisition of Great Plains

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today (April 5) announced the completion of its acquisition of Great Plains Software Inc. in a stock transaction valued at $1.1 billion.

Microsoft Great Plains will continue to develop, market, sell and support its midmarket business applications, Dynamics, eEnterprise and Solomon, under the Microsoft Great Plains Business Solutions brand. As part of Microsoft, this division also plans to provide new capabilities to complement the Microsoft bCentral small-business service.

In addition, the integration of technologies from both companies will create a fully interconnected generation of business solutions built on the Microsoft .NET platform, accessed via a wide range of devices and deployed either as hosted Web-based services or as on-premise, locally managed solutions.

"This is a great combination that will benefit our customers, our partners in the industry and our company," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "The combined assets of Microsoft's global abilities, our depth of platform technology and Great Plains' leading expertise in business applications will make deep business solutions truly accessible to small and midmarket companies."

Under terms of the acquisition, originally announced in December, Great Plains will become a division operating within Microsoft's Productivity and Business Services Group, led by Microsoft Group Vice President Jeff Raikes. Microsoft Great Plains will continue to be based in Fargo, N.D., led by former Great Plains chairman and CEO Doug Burgum and his current leadership team. Burgum is now a senior vice president of Microsoft and president of the Great Plains Division.

"Microsoft Great Plains will continue to enhance our solid reputation for customer service and innovative business solutions," said Burgum. "With the commitment of our 2,200 global channel partners, more than 2,000 team members, and the tremendous people and technical assets within Microsoft, we have the opportunity to reshape some of the basic assumptions that have guided commerce in the past and truly improve the lives and business success of our customers."

Great Plains shareholders of record on Feb. 21, 2001, will receive 1.1 shares of Microsoft common stock in exchange for each share of Great Plains common stock. Fractional shares will be paid in cash.

Microsoft Great Plains business applications include financials, distribution, project accounting, electronic commerce, human resources and payroll, manufacturing, supply chain management, business analytics, sales and marketing management, and customer service and support.

See related analysis on ASPnews.com, Have They Gone Mad at Microsoft?, Dec 28th 2000.



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