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.

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