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Corel buys Micrografx

War vets move in together

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Corel is to acquire Micrografx in a stock swap valued at $32 million.

Best known for its flow charting software Designer - which has been around since Windows 2.x days - Micrografx also offers services and business process consulting. Microsoft acquired rival Visio in September 1999, and has been promoting it heavily as a component of Office XP, so for Micrografx the er, flow charting was on the wall. It's roughly equivalent to a year's income for Micrografx.

A merger of these two Windows survivors - they were writing for the DOS shell in the 1980s, when almost everyone else was following the advice of Microsoft and IBM and writing for OS/2 - has the melancholy air of a reunion of two ancient war veterans.

"All our chums have been shot, blown up or died of old age," the companies said in a joint press statement yesterday. "We might as well move in together, share the teabags, and keep each other company."

Of course they didn't really say that. Corel and Micrografx actually talked about synergies and about taking process management onto new wireless platforms, but they might as well have.

The deal is subject to approval, and Corel's $126 million cash pile remains intact, unless CORL stock falls below $2.90 in which case Corel makes up the difference in cash. No doubt with the failed Borland acquisition in mind, that part of the statement Corel issued yesterday is in bold type. ®

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