Tarantella secures $16m injection

Tarantella's new chief executive has brought some cash with him that, he says, will enable the company to operate profitably - a major concern for its big customers

Tarantella, the maker of eponymous software that provides remote access to applications running on Windows, UNIX, Linux and mainframe servers, has secured $16.4m (£8.78m) in capital funding, the company said on Friday.

Chief executive officer Frank Wilde, who joined Tarantella in December to replace Doug Michels, brought in the funding as part of his package to rescue the beleaguered company.

Wilde said the money will allow him to help make the company profitable and make it a safer bet for companies evaluating Tarantella's software against the Windows-based software of its much large competitor, Citrix.

"Of the $16.4m, over $15m will be net proceeds for the company," said Wilde. "We will have lot of cash on the balance sheet and this will help customers who are concerned about buying from a company that didn't until now have strong financial backing."

Wilde said the strategy involves getting Tarantella relisted on the NASDAQ exchange. In June 2002, Tarantella moved from NASDAQ to the Nasdaq SmallCap market, and then in June 2003 underwent a one-to-five reverse stock split when, after the purchase of New Moon Systems for eight million shares plus royalties, the number of outstanding shares hit the 10 million mark.

"We have also done substantial work on tests necessary to get the company relisted," said Wilde. "That project will continue over the coming year." Wilde said he expects Tarantella to be reach profitability in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Tarantella customers will see heightened marketing of the products during the coming year, said Wilde, together with a new pricing programme. "This will enable our largest customers to buy anywhere in the world off the same price list. We're trying to make it easier for customers to buy from us."

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