Thursday, 26 June 2008 10:52

Progress Software to Acquire Iona Technologies

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) and IONA Technologies plc (NASDAQ: IONA) today jointly announced that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Progress Software has agreed to acquire IONA for US$4.05 per share in cash.

This represents a total equity value of approximately US$162 million and approximately US$106 million net of cash and marketable securities reported on March 31, 2008. The offer price per share is approximately 16% over the average price for IONA shares over the six months prior to the offer period announced by IONA on February 8, 2008. The IONA Technologies Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction and each IONA Technologies director has entered into an agreement to vote in favour of the transaction.

Progress Software is a global supplier of application infrastructure software used to develop, deploy, integrate and manage business applications, and Iona Technologies is an established supplier of software integration technology.

Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected to occur in September pending regulatory approval in the US, IONA shareholder approval and issuance of an order by the Irish High Court, IONA would become an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Software.

The combination of Progress Software and IONA creates the industry choice for truly independent, heterogeneous Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) infrastructure. IONA products complement the Progress SOA Portfolio with leading edge, best-in-class technology now with the widest variety of heterogeneous deployment options and interoperability. And IONA brings an experienced and talented team to Progress that has built a reputation with Global 2000 enterprises for addressing the most complex integration challenges through innovative and cost-effective solutions.

Through its Artix product line, IONA provides some of the industry's most advanced Web-standards based integration technologies in support of a SOA. In addition, IONA offers open source SOA integration components through its FUSE(TM) product line. And, for 15 years, IONA has been the industry leader in CORBA integration technology, a well-established integration standard currently relied upon in mission-critical IT systems of some of the world's largest companies.

The IONA products complement the Progress SOA Portfolio, which consists of best-in-class products that can be used standalone or together to form an entire SOA infrastructure. With the addition of IONA technology, legacy and high performance applications written in C++ or those built to the CORBA standard, can now expose reusable services that fully participate in a Web-standards SOA implementation. In addition, IONA also has "smart endpoint" integration with Microsoft's .NET Windows Communications Framework and the popular open source Spring Java application framework. These smart endpoints, service-enabling almost all existing applications, can work within any IT environment through a wide-variety of network protocols and are fully compatible with the Progress Sonic ESB to form a complete SOA "backbone" for heterogeneous integration and interoperability.

Numerous large enterprises use innovative and robust IONA technology for their most high-performance and mission-critical systems primarily in the telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing, and government markets. These customers will now have access to all the complementary products in the Progress SOA Portfolio as they implement a SOA framework for integration of existing applications and for new development.

Joseph Alsop, co-founder and chief executive officer of Progress Software commented: "We are proud to inherit IONA's long history and reputation for developing some of the industry's most respected and well-recognized technology for integrating mission-critical systems, often involving hundreds of applications and millions of transactions per day over diverse IT environments. We certainly expect to benefit by enhancing and extending these customer relationships and by leveraging IONA technology within products across our SOA portfolio. IONA products are very complementary to what Progress offers today and IONA customers can rest assured that Progress is committed to the same high standards of support, product quality, and performance."

Peter Zotto, chief executive officer of IONA noted: "We could not have chosen a better partner in terms of commitment to customers, pursuit of technology excellence, and shared vision to be the industry's leading independent supplier of SOA infrastructure software. Progress is now the clear choice for SOA implementations in performance-demanding IT environments. Combining IONA's proven expertise in distributed system integration technologies with the Progress SOA portfolio will allow customers to achieve a better return on existing IT assets and future IT investments."

About the Transaction

The acquisition will be effected by means of a "scheme of arrangement" under Irish law pursuant to which a wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Software, SPK Acquisitions Limited, will acquire all of the outstanding securities of IONA not already owned by Progress Software or its wholly-owned subsidiaries from IONA shareholders for cash. The acquisition will be subject to the terms and conditions to be set forth in the scheme of arrangement document to be delivered to IONA shareholders. To become effective, the scheme of arrangement requires, among other things, the approval of a majority in number of IONA shareholders, present and voting either in person or by proxy, representing 75% or more in value of the IONA shares held by such holders. The acquisition is also subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and the approval of the Irish High Court. Assuming the necessary approvals are obtained and all conditions have been satisfied, the acquisition will become effective upon delivery to the Registrar of Companies in Ireland of the court order of the Irish High Court sanctioning the scheme. Upon the acquisition becoming effective, it will be binding on all IONA shareholders.

About IONA Technologies plc

For more than a decade, IONA(R) Technologies (NASDAQ: IONA) has been a world leader in delivering high-performance integration solutions for Global 2000 IT environments. IONA pioneered standards-based integration with its CORBA-based Orbix products. IONA Artix, an advanced SOA infrastructure suite, enables customers to leverage service-oriented architecture to streamline and modernize IT environments. The FUSE(TM) family of Open Source products includes supported, enterprise releases of Apache ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, CXF and Camel.

IONA is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, with U.S. headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts and offices worldwide. For additional information about IONA, visit our Web site at www.iona.com.

About Progress Software Corporation

Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS) provides application infrastructure software for the development, deployment, integration and management of business applications. Our goal is to maximize the benefits of information technology while minimizing its complexity and total cost of ownership. Progress can be reached at www.progress.com.

 

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