FW: SirsiDynix Bought by Private Firm Turner, Alice D 04 Jan 2007 20:39 UTC
Hi, All. Just heard about this. Has anyone else heard the same thing? >From LJ Academic Newswire... SirsiDynix Bought by Private Firm SirsiDynix, the leading automation vendor used by public, academic, and school libraries, announced that it will be acquired by Vista Equity Partners, a $1 billion private equity firm that focuses on investing in software and technology businesses. The deal marks yet another ownership milestone for the company: Sirsi and Dynix, once competitors, merged in June 2005. Lebron Miles, a spokesman for SirsiDynix, said there are no current plans to change the SirsiDynix name. "We do not expect our customers to see any difference in our services," Miles added, noting that the deal is expected to become final in mid-January following a regulatory review. For San Francisco-based Vista, the acquisition is its first investment the library market. Vista founder and managing principal Robert Smith described Vista as "long-term investors in technology companies committed to market leadership," and said he was excited about working with SirsiDynix because it is "clearly the market leader, with a suite of mission-critical software solutions." While SirsiDynix's Miles said little would change with the deal, on his Coffee/Code blog <http://www.coffeecode.net/archives/108-Musing-about-SirsiDynixs-new-inv estment-partner.html> , Dan Scott, systems librarian for Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, warned that the merger could lead to "increased fees for service and annual support, the phasing out of the Unicorn system, even another potential merger or acquisition in 2008." Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University and author of LJ's annual automation marketplace article, said SirsiDynix wasn't on the block because its owners, Seaport Capitol, weren't making profits. Rather, their investment had hit its time horizon. Vista, he said, has a longer time horizon, and thus approaches the purchase from the belief that it can ultimately build a company of higher value, without needing to raise prices in the short term beyond the increases that would have occurred anyway. "While the company's Horizon and Unicorn systems are due to merge in the long-term, the company isn't going to develop two parallel products forever-both have such large customer bases that abrupt change would cost them customers," he told the LJ Academic Newswire. "But the ILS isn't the most important piece of the pie," Breeding added, pointing to the company's challenge in helping libraries manage electronic content, "and SirsiDynix is weak on that front now." While he didn't predict that Vista would go out and purchase another ILS vendor, "there may be other synergies, such as buying a related company."