Autonomy to Acquire Web Content Management Provider Interwoven for $775M

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-01-22 Print this article Print

The two companies' areas of expertise appear to dovetail well. Autonomy's "meaning-based" legal search capabilities should work well with Interwoven's Web content management platform.

Legal search services provider Autonomy said Jan. 22 that it will acquire Web content management vendor Interwoven for $775 million.

The transaction will be funded by an underwritten placing of ordinary shares, a new revolving credit facility, and a portion of Interwoven's and Autonomy's cash reserves, Autonomy said. The final price worked out to $16.20 a share.

The two companies' areas of expertise appear to dovetail well. Autonomy's "meaning-based" legal search capabilities should work well with Interwoven's Web content management platform.

Autonomy's patented search algorithms allow clean, fast, efficient searches for words or phrases in large amounts of documents that have inferences that could be important in a legal discovery action. Most search engines simply look for keywords that may or may not be relevant to the task at hand.

The combination of the two could mean that Autonomy is planning to change from a sole focus on high-end search technology to developing a comprehensive information management platform for the legal sector.

Interwoven also brings an immediate captive market to Autonomy's table: 1,200 legal service-sector customers. 

Interwoven's content management platform, which first went on the market in the late 1990s, is used by 21 of the Forbes Global 30, including Hilton, HSBC and Microsoft. Its acquisition of Web optimization firm Optimost a year ago has transformed it into a major player in the Web analytics market.

Autonomy also owns a good part of the market share in e-mail archiving, since it bought Zantaz in July 2007 for $375 million.

U.K.-based Autonomy expects to have a cash balance of at least $75 million after the deal, assuming it closes in the second quarter-or by June 30-of this year.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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