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Intuit Gets Down To It With Acquisition

Financial software maker Intuit Inc. said it has signed an agreement to buy Management Reports, Inc. (MRI) for $92 million in cash.

Known for its offline software like Quicken, QuickBooks, Quicken Loans and TurboTax, Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit said the acquisition would give them a strong place in the $400 million global property management software segment.

"MRI is a great fit for Intuit's 'Right for My Business' strategy, enabling us to serve another industry with unique needs -- property management and real estate," said Intuit president and CEO Steve Bennett. "MRI has consistently demonstrated its ability to meet customer needs with outstanding, real-world solutions and a talented team of sales, implementation and support professionals. As a result, they've developed a strong, growing and loyal customer base."

Under the terms of the agreement, Intuit will acquire the outstanding shares of MRI and expects MRI to contribute between $45 million and $50 million in revenue in fiscal year 2003, which begins Aug. 1, 2002. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Intuit's fiscal 2002 (May 1, 2002 - July 31, 2002), so the company does not expect the acquisition to have a material impact on fiscal 2002 results.

Cleveland-based MRI will be Intuit's third acquisition in a year. In November 2001, Intuit acquired OMware, Inc., a provider of business management solutions for the construction industry and it completed its acquisition of public sector software maker American Fundware, Inc., last week.

Founded in 1971, privately held MRI targets real estate segments -- from in-house, standalone software to Web-based outsourced solutions. The company supports more than 4,500 software installations worldwide, with clients ranging from owners and managers of smaller office, industrial, retail and residential properties to global real estate investors and insurance companies.

Intuit currently plans to operate MRI as a separate business unit led by MRI CEO Bob Lasser, and will offer MRI's current products and services using both the Intuit and MRI brands. MRI's products include MRI for Windows and MRI for the Web.

Lasser is expected to stay on as a vice president at Intuit reporting to Steve Bennett, and Intuit said virtually all of MRI's 300 employees will be asked to stay with the business. MRI will also continue to be based in Cleveland.

"This combination will enable us to leverage Intuit's brand and customer relationships to accelerate our growth while also allowing us to enhance our quality assurance processes, customer service and Web-based solutions," said Lasser. "At the same time, it will enable us to bring our customers -- many of which have 100-250 employees -- a broader range of 'Right for My Business' solutions, including payroll and other employer services."

Intuit also reiterated its guidance for 17-22 percent revenue growth and 25-30 percent pro forma earnings per share growth for fiscal 2003.