Monday, August 27, 2012

Thoma Bravo dusts off shelf space for Deltek

Don't expect it to sit there very long, though.

The private equity group has bought and sold many other ERP systems in the past, which are in various stages of putrefaction in the Graveyard - among them Activant, Prophet 21, Consona, and JDA.  In this case, they're taking Deltek off the NASDAQ, and into their warm temporary embrace, before the company reaches its final destination at Epinforacle.

In the meantime, however, a number of law firms are suggesting that Deltek shareholders might prefer to get a little more than the $13/share Thoma Bravo is currently offering.  Hmmm......

Update:  Good piece by Chris Kanaracus at IDG, which has some tough-but-fair comments from Ray Wang, and some reminders of the company's poor financial performance lately.  It references a number of acquisitions that Deltek has made; I'm aware of Maconomy last year, but not much more.  Would like to add them to the Graveyard Scorecard, as they DEFINITELY qualify as Infor-bait now - if anyone has details on the acquisitions history, could you post to the comments below?

Some good history in two older writeups from PJ@ TEC here and here. And a brief review of the changing ownership picture from Wikipedia:

Founded in 1983, Costpoint product launched 1994, taken public 1997, taken private 2002, recap by New Mt. Capital 2005, taken public again 2007, now private again 2012.  Whew!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Parsing Sage, MAS 90 it's time...

Sorry, I worked really hard to find a better homonym for "Rosemary," but hey, give a blogger a break.

The news here, hardly a surprise, is that serial 90s-ware software acquirer Sage (formerly Best Software in the US) gave some hard news to its partners yesterday.  Those of us who follow the growing landfill at the ERP Graveyard have come to an uneasy peace with seeing formerly beloved products taken out behind the barn and dispatched, but today, in a candid keynote by Sage CTO Himanshu Palsule, the company read out the List of the Dead:
  • Sage Pro ERP (formerly ACCPAC Pro and SBT Pro)
  • Sage PFW (formerly Platinum for Windows)
  • Sage 500 (formerly MAS 500, former-formerly something else in the UK, unrelated to the old MAS 90 and 200 but renamed - can anybody help me here?)
  • Sage BusinessVision Accounting
  • Sage BusinessWorks Accounting
  • Sage BusinessBody Accounting (ok, I made that last one up)

No official word on the following:
  • Sage 50 (formerly Peachtree Accounting)
  • Sage 100 (formerly MAS 90)
  • Sage 300 (is that different from regular ACCPAC?)
  • Sage 104.5 "The Jam" - all of today's best dance hits

Tepid apologies for the extra snark. But see here for an earlier discussion of the Sage branding extravaganza, almost exactly one year ago.  Raise your hand if it's all clearer to you now.

Regardless, kudos to Palsule for his forthrightness - which was quickly undone by Sage North America CEO Pascal Houillon in this classic bit of Newspeak:  "Both core and noncore businesses will remain key parts of our overall portfolio."

Much as the Delta House in Animal House was said to have had a "long tradition of existence - both to its members and the community at large."  You tell 'em, Frère Houillon.

Perhaps some of these venerable products can find a home at Aptean, before they're finally put out to pasture.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Watch out, Epinforacle - here comes Aptean!

Exciting news for those of us pulling for a second tier of bloated, private-equity-funded rollups of failed ERP software companies.... Consona Corporation (acquirers of Made2Manage, Intuitive, Onyx, etc.) and CDC Software (formerly Chinadotcom, acquirers of Ross Systems, Pivotal, etc.) have combined forces to form.... Aptean!  Watch out Infor and Epicor!  Oracle probably still doesn't care.

Here's an exciting video from Aptean president Monte Ford.

According to the Aptean website, "Mr. Ford is widely regarded as a leader in the field of information technology" - although he doesn't appear to have worked at a software company before.  The interim CEO of Aptean, John Clough, held that same role at CDC for the past several years - and is a former Special Advisor to private equity giant General Atlantic.

So at first blush, the "merger" looks like a takeover of Consona by CDC and its backers.  Will update here as we learn more, but at the risk of stating the obvious, I think it's fair to say the Consona products now have another toe or two in the graveyard...

Update:  Atlanta Business Chronicle notes that CDC filed for Chapter 11 last fall, looks like some kind of internal legal wrangling.  Wotta mess!

Update 2:  Dow Jones reports, "Battery Ventures and Thoma Bravo exited their business-services software platform Consona Corp., selling it to Vista Equity Partners -backed CDC Software Corp. for between $240 million to $300 million, according to a person close to the process."

Update 3:  I've seen another private estimate of $250M, which is said to be roughly 2x TTM revenues.  And Consona was said to be way more profitable than CDC, which was doing revenues in the $220M range.