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Macromedia to acquire Allaire

Macromedia to acquire Allaire

Web development tool vendor Macromedia has acquired competitor Allaire for $US360 million in cash and stocks.

For several months the two companies have been working to integrate their technologies, deciding to tie the knot by the second quarter of this calendar year. The deal is subject to regulatory and Allaire shareholder approval.

The combined entity, to retain the Macromedia name, will be a powerful force in Web development, with Macromedia's Flash and Dreamweaver products dominating the Web design space and Allaire's ColdFusion and JRun products a significant force in back-end developments. The combined company will have a developer base of more than two million designers and programmers, and over 1700 staff.

At a global level Rob Burgess will remain chairman and CEO of Macromedia, while Jeremy Allaire will maintain the same position of chief technical officer under the new company.

At a local level, there has been no discussions regarding the effects of the acquisition on Macromedia or Allaire staff. Although he had a personal hunch, Macromedia country manager John Paull did not know about the announcement until today and was informed while on vacation overseas. He told ARN that despite a series of recent announcements regarding the two companies integrating their products, there had been no indication Allaire was interested in being bought. "I think it was because the technologies were so similar," he said.

Both Macromedia and Allaire are currently distributed by Firmware Design, with several Macromedia products also distributed by Scholastic. Paull did not think the channel would see too many changes as a result of the acquisition.

"It shouldn't have an effect on the channel," he said. "We both go through Firmware, and while we also have Scholastic, they are a reseller to a market that wouldn't necessarily be interested in Allaire products."

Paull has known Allaire's country manager for Australia and New Zealand, John Treloar, for over 15 years. Treloar used to head up the education division of Microsoft when Paull was in the same role for Apple. Paull expects that no matter how the two are placed as a result of the acquisition, the likelihood is that they will enjoy working with each other.

"While Macromedia is acquiring the company, I believe the two are so different that they will probably run as two separate divisions," he said. "While John talks to the corporate IT manager, I talk to developers and end users."


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