UK-based software conglomerate The Sage Group has revealed its intention to purchase CRM and contact management software company Interact Commerce Corporation in a move that Interact says will not see history repeat itself.
Under the terms of the all-cash acquisition, Interact will become an independent business unit under the Sage banner, according to Nick Gaynor, regional director of Interact Asia Pacific.
Sage, which acts like a holding company for a number of separate software developers, will pay around $US260 million, or around $12 per share, for Interact with the sale expected to be completed by May 2001.
Although Gaynor admitted he was still being briefed on how the acquisition will affect Interact's operations in Australia, he did say Sage had only a minor presence in the region and would not be laying off any Interact staff.
"It will be business as usual," he said. "They have a lot of back-office software [from Sage's other software companies] and I think they were looking to buy a major front-office software company."
In the mid-1990s Interact, the vendor of contact management database ACT! and mid-market CRM product line SalesLogix, was purchased by Symantec only to have its products unsupported, undeveloped and neglected, said Gaynor in an interview with ARN last year.
Interact founder and CEO Pat Sullivan then bought back the company and has been actively trying to return the company to its former glory.
However, Gaynor was quick to dispel fears that the company would endure a repeat performance the second time around. Instead he believes there is likely to be new opportunities to leverage off each company's existing customer base, while maintaining Interact's recent resurgence.Photograph: Interact Asia Pacific's Nick Gaynor