Divine Buying Eprise In $43M Deal

Divine could be putting a move on Lotus with its acquisitions.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

September 18, 2001

2 Min Read

In an effort to cover everything from content management to delivery, IT-services conglomerate divine Inc. is buying content-management company Eprise Corp. in an all-stock deal valued at $43 million. Pending shareholder and regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close by year's end. Eprise would become a subsidiary of divine.

In a separate agreement, divine will immediately begin reselling Eprise's Participant Server, which creates Web-page templates for intranet and Internet sites that can more easily be manipulated and updated by non-technical workers.

This is divine's third acquisition attempt in little more than one month. It's in the process of buying Open Market Inc., a content-management and -delivery company, in a stock deal valued at $59.3 million. Through that deal, divine expects to gain 300 customers in 43 countries who license Open Market's Java 2 Enterprise Edition software. The deal is expected to close Oct. 19. Divine is also acquiring consulting firm, marchFIRST's Germany operations for $4.8 million. This deal is expected to expand divine's international reach and line of professional services.

The downturn in the economy has created a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," to build a business through acquisitions, says Andrew Filipowski, divine CEO. "When markets are acting as horribly as some think," he says, "this is the time when you assemble and consolidate." Filipowski adds that companies would spend exorbitant amounts trying to build technology from scratch compared to buying technology and businesses that are available and developed.

Divine's attempt to integrate content management with collaboration could put it ahead of the competition if it acts swiftly, says Gartner analyst Lou Latham. "I would expect to see this kind of integration from Lotus," he says, "but they don't have the content-management piece." Nor does IBM, he adds, saying divine has about a year to integrate or eliminate the products it has acquired from various companies, and ship products that address the intersection of content management and collaboration.

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