Thursday, September 13, 2012

Calendar reminder: It's been 6 years. Sell!

So today's Graveyard news concerns Solarsoft, a niche company formed in 2007 by the merger of XKO Software and CMS Software, and funded by private equity group Marlin Equity Partners.  Marlin originally bought XKO in 2006, so as the title suggests, it was probably about time to get out.

Marlin LPs, say it with me:  "THANK YOU, EPICOR!"

The combined company will serve one zillion customers, offer great cross-selling opportunities for nervous Solarsoft sales people, and add strength in blah blah and blah vertical markets.  "This is great," said Epicor CEO Pervez Qureshi, looking up from his lopsided balance sheet. "This is great," said Solarsoft CEO Shawn McMorran, zipping up his suitcase.

Interestingly, Marlin had previously purchased the old Intuitive MFG software in late 2005, and bankrolled Intuitive's acquisition of Relevant Business Systems in early 2006.  But by July of that year, they'd flipped it to Made2Manage, which later became Consona, which later became Aptean.

A tale of two ERP Graveyard tours:  Less than one year to buy and flip at a market high point, versus six years to finally unload to Epicor for ... ???  Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  451 Research estimates the deal value at $90MM, exactly one times revenue.  Woo-eeee!


  1. The former CMS (Canadian Manufacturing Systems) was a lovely company that didn't monetize every transaction. They gave out source code freely and provided great value. No wonder they were a good target for a company like Epicor that really knows how to milk a customer dry. I'm just waiting for our maintenance fees to double and the development to halt. Solarsoft and XKO management didn't screw it up too much except cheapening the user conferences. We can now begin to say goodbye to one of the last good old-school companies that were out to build a big user base and not just to make the equity partners richer.

    1. AS a former CMS employee, I read this with a lot of CMS was different. ONe of the last good guy companies that were focused on customers and employees, not stockholders. Going, going gone. While a wierd place to work in a lot of ways, it was good to be associated with and most customers miss the good old days when John/STeve/Rudy/Paul ran the show.

  2. Who is left that is not owned by equity partners?

  3. Well, xTuple for one (to make the obvious self-interested plug) ;-)