Borland Close to Naming a Buyer for Its IDE Unit

Borland's CEO says the company is closing in on a sale of its IDE business and is attracting new hires and former Borland employees to the fold.

Borland is close to naming a buyer for its development tools unit and will complete the deal by the end of September, said company chief executive Tod Nielsen.

In an interview with eWEEK, Nielsen said Cupertino, Calif.-based Borland should be able to name a buyer for the companys IDE (integrated development environment) in the next few weeks.

However, as of now, "There is no deal done," Nielsen said in an interview July 21.

"We expect to have a deal done in the next few weeks, and then well announce shortly after we get it taken care of. And we expect it to be completed by Sept. 30."

Nielsen said progress on finalizing a sale of the company is "progressing as we had hoped" and Bear Stearns & Co., the investment banking firm Borland retained to help with the sale of the unit the company refers to as "DevCo," is quickly "getting to the completion of the process."

Sources said DevCo is expected to fetch about $100 million or more for Borland.

Following the sale, Borland is "going to look lean and focused," Nielsen said.

Indeed, his target is profitability in the fourth quarter of this year, "and in 07 to have the same level of profitability we had in 2004—when we exit 07," he said.

"So our focus is driving double-digit ALM [Application Lifecycle Management] revenue growth and getting to profitability and winning customers."

Meanwhile, Borlands "DevCo" unit has attracted some former "Borlanders" to return to the fold for a second tour of duty with the company.

One returnee is George Paolini, former vice president and general manager of Java solutions at Borland.

Paolini left Borland for SAP AG, but is no longer employed at SAP.

He is currently working as a paid consultant to Borland on things like product roadmaps, future business plans, helping with the divestiture process and other issues at "DevCo," Nielsen said.

More specifically, Paolini is helping the "DevCo" leadership team on JBuilder—Borlands Java development tool—and where the JBuilder business is going.

"And hes driving things with Peloton," Nielsen said. Peloton is the code name for the next version of JBuilder, which will be based on the Eclipse open-source development platform.

In addition to Paolini serving as a consultant to Borland, "DevCo" has attracted other returnees and new hires as full-time employees, the company said.

These include Steve Shaughnessy, who formerly on Paradox and JBuilder and JDataStore at Borland; Jens-Ole Lauridsen, a former Borland developer who worked on JDataStore and NDataStore; and Lee Cantey, one of the key developers on Borlands C++ compiler and tools, Borland officials said.

"DevCo" also has hired Nick Hodges as Delphi product manager. Hodges is a longtime Borland Delphi developer and supporter.

Nielsen said his decision to enable the IDE group to "fly, be free" helped to generate renewed interest in the group.

/zimages/1/28571.gifTo read more about Borlands development tools, click here.

"It really drove some innovation and excitement into the team and brought people back," he said.

Moreover, a year from now, "I think people are going to look back and say this is a real win-win-win situation," Nielsen said, because he said he thinks the deal will be good for the employees of "DevCo," for the customers and for Borland in that Borland will be able to focus.

Nielsen said Borland will partner closely with "DevCo," and both companies will resell the others products.

"We come from the same gene pool," Nielsen said.

"This is not a War of the Roses divorce... So customers who are using the ALM products and the IDE products will still be able to buy them from us. Were going to make sure the customers win."

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