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8/26/2003
03:21 PM
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Content Is King: Another Digital-Asset Developer Acquired

Content-management vendor Stellent moves in on assets of digital asset-management developer.

Evidence is mounting that digital asset-management may not survive as a stand-alone market, but rather as a subset of content-management packages. The latest content-management vendor to snatch up a digital asset-management property is Stellent Inc., which said Monday that it was acquiring the assets of privately held Ancept Inc. for nearly $3 million in cash and stock.

The deal comes two months after Stellent competitor Interwoven Inc. forked over $10 million for digital asset-management vendor MediaBin, and more than a year after Documentum Inc. signaled the trend with its purchase of Bulldog. Dan Ryan, executive VP of marketing and business development for Stellent, says that although content-management vendors increasingly need to offer digital asset-management within their product suites, the Ancept acquisition was more than a competitive response to Interwoven and Documentum. "It wasn't a reaction to anyone else," says Ryan. "We've been tracking these guys for two years."

Stellent targeted Ancept for two reasons: As a vendor, Ancept is rare because it doesn't have a repository product that would have factored into the purchase price; and the company's strategic alliance partnership with IBM sets up Stellent to provide a digital asset-management platform that can run on IBM's Content Manager repository, as well as Stellent's and those of other third parties. Ryan says Stellent already has digital asset-management capabilities in its product line, but nothing as high-end as Ancept. Meanwhile, Ancept--like Bulldog and MediaBin before it--recognized its limitations as a stand-alone vendor. "They didn't have the global reach and resources," says Ryan.

Stellent, which expects to release the first integration of the two companies' technologies before its fiscal year ends in March 2004, will pay $2 million in cash, plus 100,000 shares of stock. The vendor's stock rose nearly 2% Monday, to $7.65, bringing the total value of the deal to about $2.77 million. The transaction closed late last week, after getting the approval of Stellent's board.

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