In a move that underscores the e-business sector’s hunger for Linux
operating systems, Corel Corp. grabbed
Net development firm Inprise/Borland
Corp. Monday in a stock exchange valued at $2.44 billion.
shareholders will receive 0.747 Corel shares for each share of
Inprise/Borland stock. Corel (CORL)
will issue about 53.7 million common shares in the aggregate, in exchange
for Inprise/Borland’s outstanding shares. Inprise/Borland shareholders will
own approximately 44 percent of Corel, with the balance being held by
Corel’s current shareholders.
Inprise/Borland will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corel. Michael Cowpland will remain as
president, chief executive officer and a director of the corporation. Dale
Fuller, Inprise/Borland’s interim president and CEO, will be appointed
chairman of Corel’s board of directors. The headquarters will be in Ottawa, Canada.
With one of the largest teams of Linux developers, Corel will be able to
deliver more powerful solutions faster. Both companies will also continue to
provide support for open standards, ensuring compatibility across Linux,
Windows and Solaris platforms and applications.
Linux is an operating system that runs on hardware ranging from PCs and Macs
to Alphas and more. Linux is used by a fast-growing number of programmers
worldwide as a platform for running Internet servers and software
applications. International Data Corp. forecasts the Linux
operating environment, including both client and server, will grow at a
compound annual rate of more than 25 percent through 2003.
Corel’s work on the Linux operating system grew out of its earlier efforts
developing software for the Unix operating system. With the release of
WordPerfect 8 for Linux in December 1998, Corel established itself as a
leading software developer for the open source operating system. To its
credit, Inprise/Borland provides the tools to create enterprise applications
for the Linux operating system. Most recently, Inprise/Borland announced the
impending release of Kylix — one of the first rapid-application development
(RAD) tools for the Linux platform.
“With Inprise/Borland’s leadership in the software development community and
Corel’s Linux desktop operating system and productivity applications, we
have an extraordinary opportunity to reach all facets of the exploding Linux
market,” said Cowpland.
The deal serves as a shattering counterpoint to a similar deal inked last
week when VA Linux Systems (LNUX)
shelled out about $1 billion for Linux-dedicated site Andover.Net (ANDV)
in an effort to gain large corners of the Linux market.