IBM said last week it will acquire industry veteran Candle Corp., a maker of software to manage mainframes and other computers in business networks. IBM didn't disclose terms of the deal but said Candle chairman and CEO Aubrey Chernick, who founded the company in 1976 and was still the sole owner, will leave the company. Candle boasts more than 3,000 customers, including Coca-Cola, Ford, and McDonald's. But it's been slow to diversify beyond mainframes, where "there's a vicious battle going on for market share," says Rich Ptak of consulting company Ptak, Noel & Associates, who has worked with both Candle and IBM. Computer Associates has gathered share in the mainframe software market through a string of acquisitions.
IBM general manager Robert LeBlanc says Candle's software can manage computers running Windows, Unix, and Linux, as well as mainframes, an advantage for companies building applications with pieces on multiple computing platforms.