Mapics Acquires Frontstep

Companies plan to combine their enterprise software for mid-sized manufacturers.

Mapics Inc., a developer of enterprise resource planning software for manufacturers, announced this morning it is acquiring fellow ERP developer Frontstep Inc.

Terms of the deal include the exchange of 4.2 million shares of Mapics common stock, valued at around $26 million, for all the outstanding shares of Frontsteps and the assumption by Mapics of Frontsteps debts and other liabilities. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2003.

The combined company could be a formidable competitor in the mid-market, with more than 10,000 implementations at discreet and process manufacturers sites worldwide.

Collectively, Mapics and Frontstep, formally known as Symix, will provide a line of extended ERP, CRM (customer relationship management) and SCM (supply chain management) software for mid-size companies. Mapics plans to leverage Frontsteps investment in its SyteLine 7 software, built on Microsoft Corp.s .Net platform, at the same time it continues to build out its own software on IBMs platform.

"The midrange manufacturing market has proven its appetite for applications on both of these platforms and we have a firm commitment to sustain active product development for each," said Dick Cook, Mapics president and CEO, in a press release.

Mapics, of Alpharetta, Ga., provides an ERP foundation, plus SCM and CRM functionality. With about 3,000 customers installed in 6,000 sites in more than 70 countries, Mapics focuses on discreet and batch processing software for industries like electronics, industrial equipment and automotive and transportation. Frontstep, based in Columbus, Ohio, provides software for discrete, made-to-order manufacturers. Like Mapics, the company provides ERP, CRM and SCM software. It has approximately 1,800 customers installed in 4,400 sites in more than 40 countries.