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

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-01-22

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.


Rocket Fuel