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Autonomy sews up Interwoven buy

Content management comes at big price

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Autonomy is buying its way into the US legal software market by paying $775m for California-based Interwoven.

UK-based Autonomy will pay $16.20 in cash per share - a 36 per cent premium on Interwoven's average share price in the last month.

Interwoven, listed on Nasdaq, makes content management and compliance software. The deal is being funded by a $200m revolving credit facility from Barclays and from Autonomy's cash pile.

The two firms will have 20,000 customers between them.

Autonomy believes the deal will give it access to compliance contracts especially at top-end law firms. It will give a chance to sell Autonomy technology to Interwoven's web management customers. By bringing together Autonomy's Digital Safe produce and Interwoven's Team Suite which archive changes on websites, they will be able to provide compliance to new regulations governing information which is shown to customers.

Autonomy chief exec Mike Lynch welcomed the deal, and said shared customers and partnerships meant his company was already familiar with Interwoven's managment and products.

The deal needs shareholder and regulator approval. It is hoped to close in the second quarter of 2009.

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