BEA Picks Plumtree

BEA Systems Inc. plans to buy Plumtree Software Inc. for about $200 million in cash. BEA sells the WebLogic application server and other middleware. Plumtree makes software for building portals.

Web-portal projects influence 65% of BEA's application server sales, CEO Alfred Chuang said in a conference call with analysts last week. Adding Plumtree's portal software to BEA's portfolio will help app server sales grow by allowing BEA to reach a new audience of nontechnical business users, he said. The two companies' products use common technical standards such as Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Web services.

BEA earned $131.1 million on sales of $1.08 billion for the fiscal year ended in January. Plumtree, which sells to about 700 customers, including Airbus, Ford, Starbucks, and the U.S. Navy, lost $9.6 million on sales of $84.1 million last year. Most of Plumtree's 400 employees are expected to join BEA.

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