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8/24/2004
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Cognos Bids For Swedish Software Vendor

It's willing to pay more than $52 million in cash for Frango, a developer of financial-consolidation and reporting software.

Cognos Inc. is bidding to acquire Frango AB, a Stockholm developer of financial consolidation and reporting software, for approximately $52.2 million, the company disclosed Tuesday. Frango's directors have recommended that shareholders accept Cognos' cash offer for 100% of Frango's stock. The deal is expected to conclude on or around Oct. 1.

Cognos will combine Frango's applications with its own business-intelligence, financial-planning, and scorecarding applications to build its position in the market for corporate performance-management software. CPM is a collection of software, methodologies, and metrics used to monitor and manage a company's business performance.

Cognos president and CEO Rob Ashe said during a conference call that Frango "fits strategically into our vision for CPM" by expanding the vendor's product line and strengthening its market presence in Europe.

Frango is one of Europe's leading financial-application vendors. In the 12-month period ended June 30, it recorded sales of approximately $34.3 million and net income of approximately $300,000. License sales during that period generated 39% of revenue, while 32% and 29% of revenue came from support and professional services, respectively. The company is publicly traded on the Stockholm Exchange.

Frango has more than 1,300 customers worldwide and 230 employees in 16 countries, primarily in Europe and Asia. Some of its largest customers include Axis Communications, HSBC Bank, and the Swedish Post. Some of its customer base overlaps with Cognos' customer roster, including Hunter Douglas, Rolex, and Royal Sun Alliance.

Cognos has made a number of acquisitions in recent years as it expands beyond its core business-intelligence products into corporate performance management. In March, it acquired U.K. performance-management-consulting firm Softa Group Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Early last year, Cognos acquired Adaytum Inc., a budget-planning-application maker, for $157.1 million.

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