Borland developer group to get new owner soon

With 16 bids received so far, the new entity will not fall into the hands of the likes of Microsoft or IBM, insists a company exec.
Written by Jeanne Lim, Contributor

SINGAPORE--The fate of Borland's developer tools group (DTG) will finally be sealed in the next couple of months, as the software vendor works to finalize deal with a buyer.

Nick Jackson, managing director of Borland DTG in the Asia-Pacific region, told ZDNet Asia that the company, which announced its intention to divest its developer product lines on Feb. 8, has attracted about 16 qualified bidders so far.

Borland recorded about US$276 million in revenues in its last fiscal year. Less than a third, or about US$70 million, came from its developer tools group.

By the third quarter of this year, Jackson said that Borland's DTG will become a totally independent company after the divestment.

The move is part of Borland's long-term strategy to move away from selling lower-margins developer tools, and toward delivering more lucrative application lifecycle management (ALM) suites to enterprises.

According to Jackson, about 180 employees--including himself--will form the bulk of the new entity. It will consist of existing employees in the sales, marketing and product teams from the developer tools group, and will be headed by Nigel Brown, currently the general manager of DTG.

Jackson stressed: "Taking out the management team is not part of the plan."

He also ruled out any aggressive takeovers from the likes of Microsoft or IBM, noting that Borland made sure potential buyers presented a strong case and genuine interest in the soon-to-be spinoff.

He added that Borland will continue to have some small part in the new company, be it in the form of a minor equity stake or representation on the board of directors through Borland CEO Tod Nielson.

The divested company will maintain its core developer products, namely, Delphi (also known as Borland Developer Studio), JBuilder (a Java developer tool), and Interbase (a database development tool), said Jackson.

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