Aiming at Linux, Corel and Inprise to merge

The combined company plans to offer a one-stop-shop for Linux software, according to a statement issued by Corel yesterday.

The combined company plans to offer applications, services and development tools for Linux, as well as software that runs on other operating systems. Corel values the deal at $US2.44 billion. The agreement calls for Inprise/Borland shareholders to receive 0.747 Corel common shares for each share of Inprise/Borland common stock held, according to the statement.

Inprise will be run as a wholly owned subsidiary of Corel. Michael Cowpland will remain as president, CEO and a director of the merged corporation. Dale Fuller, currently Inprise's interim president and CEO, will be chairman of Corel's board of directors. The merger is subject to customary regulatory scrutiny. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction.

Corel sells a variety of productivity, application and operating system software including the WordPerfect word processor software and graphics software. Inprise offers development tools, Internet access technology and developers' services.

The two companies together had total revenue of $US418 million in 1999, according to Corel.

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