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Computer Associates Divests Ingres Database

CA retains a 20% ownership stake in the company and plans to continue marketing and development.

Computer Associates International is divesting most of its stake in its Ingres open-source database unit.

Garnett & Helfrich Capital, a private equity firm specializing in venture buyouts, is the majority shareholder of the independent Ingres Corporation. The companies announced the move Monday, stating that Ingres will focus on development and opportunities in the open-source market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CA retains a 20 percent ownership stake in the company, the right to appoint a member to the board of directors, and plans to continuing marketing and development.

Ingres technology began as an early relational database management system at the University of California, Berkeley 30 years ago. Its initial code base was available under a version of the BSD license. It became a commercial DBMS in the 1980s.

CA acquired it through a purchase of ASK Group in 1994. Last year, CA released the database to the open-source community as part of CA Trusted Open Source License, a derivative of the common public license that complies with the Open Source Initiative. Ingres has more than 5,000 customers worldwide, according to CA.

CA President and CEO John Swainson said in a prepared statement that the move provides Ingres with dedicated resources and focus to ensure success, while enabling continued support for CA's current customers. CA plans to renew its focus on core strategic markets, including systems and security management for the enterprise.

The divestiture marks Garnett & Helfrich's second venture buyout transaction since the firm was created last year. Earlier this year, the firm gained a controlling stake in Wyse Technology.

Garnett & Helfrich Capital Managing Director and interim CEO and Chairman of Ingres' Board of Directors Terry Garnett said that as an independent company, Ingres would be able to more effectively capitalize on the momentum of the open-source market momentum. He said the company will attract top industry talent, accelerate technology development and expand partnerships.

Garnett was an early investor in Siebel, Check Point Software, Niku, Neoforma, and Neon Software. He also helped create CrossWorlds, which was acquired by IBM in 2001. Before that, Garnett was senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development and Executive Management Committee member with Oracle Corporation.

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