I’ve just learned that Embarcadero are planning on buying CodeGear, the Borland division that’s responsible for their developer tools (but not the more enterprisey application lifecycle management stuff). They’re paying $23m.
Embarcadero currently have revenues of $60m but expect the merged companies to have revenues of $100m. So they’re buying annual revenues of $40 for $23m. That’s an interesting multiple.
Earlier this month, Thoma Cressey Bravo, the private equity firm that owns Embarcadero, agreed to buy InstallShield and FlexNet from Macrovision for $200m and form a new company called Acresso. Given Thoma Cressey Bravo’s stated aim of ‘creating value through the strategic use of acquisitions to accelerate business growth’ I wouldn’t be surprised if Acresso buys Embarcadero, or vice versa, some time soon.
It’s a business model that I find a bit fishy. If I thought that Thoma Cressey Bravo’s plan was to heave CodeGear back to greatness then I’d think differently. But I suspect that they’re more interested in the quick buck. They’re taking slightly shabby, flabby companies that are stumbling into decline and gluing them together, hoping they’ll stick long enough for a 12-month increase in sales followed by a re-float or trade sale and an enormous profit. It’s like taking an apple, an orange and a banana, banging them together and calling it a fruit salad.
What do you think of the acquisition? What does it mean for CodeGear? Post here …
[Disclosure: Embarcadero are theoretically a
competitor of Red Gate, but our paths don’t cross much]