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Nimbus Seeks U.S. Toehold with Merger

The market for management software is about to get a little smaller, as Nimbus Software AS Friday agreed to purchase long-time partner Converse Software in a stock deal for an undisclosed sum.

Should the deal succeed, the new company will be called Nimsoft and will gain a significant toehold in the competitive market for management software in the United States, where Computer Associates and Micromuse also fight for customers.

Nimbus, of Oslo, Norway, makes software that manages the service levels -- the degree to which products perform -- for servers, applications, databases and networks. Such software is a boon to customers, because it boosts infrastructure availability and the functionality of business processes.

The deal does not exactly come out of the blue. Converse has been the exclusive North American distributor for Nimbus' products for the last few years. During that time, Converse has accrued a substantial customer base that includes IBM Global Services, GreenPoint Bank, Dekalb Medical Center and others.

Nimsoft will make Converse's office its U.S. headquarters and retain its staff of 15 to fortify its position in America. Converse Software founder and CEO Gary Read will become president and vice president for worldwide sales at the combined company.

The deal is slated to close in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Dennis Drogseth, vice president, Enterprise Management Associates, cheered the agreement in a statement.

"Nimbus has demonstrated significant growth in the management of application performance and Service Level Management, as more and more of its customers attest to a rapid ROI," said Drogseth. "This move to purchase Converse Software is the next logical step in Nimbus' journey towards a global expansion, which could result in a significant advantage against competitors."