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Computer Associates to divest most of Ingres unit

Posted by iNext - 2005-11-08

Business software developer Computer Associates International Inc. on Monday said it would divest a majority stake in its Ingres open-source database unit to focus on growth areas, including security and storage.
Private equity firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital will be the majority shareholder in Ingres Corp., whose customers include the Irish Inland Revenue Service and U.S. Coast Guard.

Computer Associates will own a minority stake and appoint one representative to its board, the companies said in a joint statement. They declined to disclose financial terms.

The new company will offer consulting and support services to businesses that use Ingres open-source database software, which was developed 30 years ago at the University of California at Berkeley.

Businesses normally pay a license fee for the right to use software products, in addition to fees for implementing, maintaining and upgrading those produces. With open-source software, companies generally do not pay license fees, but incur significant costs to install and maintain those products.

Red Hat Inc. is one company that specializes in implementing, maintaining and servicing Linux, an operating system that is widely used by large corporations. Ingres plans to adopt a similar model with databases.

"We want to be the Red Hat of the database world," said Terry Garnett, a Garnett & Helfrich managing director who will serve as interim CEO of the new company.

Computer Associates Chief Executive John Swainson has said he plans to divest several business units as he focuses on boosting revenue in four business areas -- security, storage, enterprise systems management and business service optimization. Ingres is the first unit to go.

It will have about 150 employees and be based in Redwood City, California.

CA Executive Vice President Mark Barrenechea said a small number of Ingress employees will be laid off as part of the divestiture. The divestiture will not have a material impact on CA's earnings, he said.

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