Thumbing nose at Oracle, Rimini Street to file for IPO

The pending Oracle intellectual-property lawsuit isn't stopping Rimini Street from taking steps to go public

Third-party software support provider Rimini Street is moving ahead with its expected plans for an initial public offering, even as it awaits a showdown in court with Oracle.

Rimini Street filed its draft registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, according to its announcement Wednesday. Like other companies, including Twitter, Rimini Street has taken advantage of a law enacted last year that allows smaller companies to initially file IPO documents confidentially.

Rimini Street provides support services for Oracle and SAP software customers, who will save at least half off their vendor support bills, the company says. The company caters to customers that have stable systems and little desire to continually apply the upgrades that come with vendor support.

Oracle sued Rimini Street in 2010, alleging it had engaged in "massive theft" of Oracle software and support materials. Rimini Street has denied any wrongdoing and countersued, saying Oracle is trying to squash the third-party support market.

Oracle also charged that Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin has duplicated the business model of TomorrowNow, a former SAP subsidiary Ravin co-founded. After a similar lawsuit by Oracle, SAP shut down TomorrowNow and accepted liability for wrongdoing by its employees. While the case resulted in a sizable damages award to Oracle, it's not yet resolved.

Software vendors are loath to see a major third-party support market emerge, given the high margins they enjoy on maintenance revenue.

Rimini Street remains small compared to Oracle but has reported consistent growth despite the lawsuit, which has yet to secure a trial date.

Last month, Rimini Street said third-quarter revenue had grown 40 percent year-over-year to US$15.8 million, and that it now supports customers in 72 countries.

A Rimini Street spokesman declined to comment Wednesday beyond the company's announcement. An Oracle spokeswoman didn't respond to a request for comment.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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