RealTime IT News

Verity in eDoc Play with LiquidOffice Buy

In a play to broaden its digital document management offerings, Verity said it will acquire e-form software maker Cardiff for $50 million in cash.

Company execs said the plan is to combine Verity's business processes products with Cardiff's e-document platform. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Verity, which recently opened additional offices in Japan, said it expects the transaction to finalize in between 30 to 60 days.

Privately owned Cardiff Software sells its products on a direct basis, as well as through an international network of resellers and OEMs. The company's lineup includes TELEform, LiquidCapture and LiquidOffice, which are marketed to a wide variety of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, and federal, state and local governments. Cardiff's major customers include the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Army, the State of California, American Express, GMAC, Toys "R" Us and British Petroleum.

The two companies are not strangers to each other. They've worked on several joint projects for mutual customers. Verity president and CEO Anthony Bettencourt said the more he looked at Cardiff, the more he liked what he saw.

"Last year we talked about the need to increase our portfolio to help our customers with their unstructured information," Bettencourt said during a briefing with reporters. "This acquisition lets us increase our footprint in the search, classification and recommendation categories of intellectual capital management and extend it to content capture, e-forms and business process automation,"

Company CFO Steven Springsteel said Verity is already evaluating which employees, technologies and offices to keep. Dennis Clerke, Cardiff's president and chief executive officer, is expected to stay on.

"We're excited about joining the Verity team, as this creates a unique and natural combination of intellectual capital management solutions with content capture, e-forms and business process automation," Clerke said in a statement.

Verity is known for making software capable of accessing information stored in multiple formats (ASCII, HTML, PDF) and locations (CD-ROM, newswires, intranets). The company's products index, classify, search and retrieve data for corporate intranets, extranets, and portals, online publishers, manufacturers and software developers. Clients such as Intel and SAP use Verity's products, which include K2 Enterprise, K2 Spider, and Verity Publisher, and service offerings such as consulting and training. Customers include software developers like SAP, Sybase, and TIBCO Software, which mix in Verity's search technology into their products. The company's platforms support 26 languages, as well as comprehensive gateway support to information repositories including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, ODBC and Documentum.

Bettencourt said he is welcoming any new competition that may pop up as a result of the Cardiff acquisition. Verity's products already go head to head with companies like Autonomy, Convera, and Hummingbird.

Shares of Verity dipped down 16 cents to $16.54 on news of the purchase.