Progress Software to Buy Excelon for $24M

Excelon is among a handful of key players in the XML database market.

Progress Software Corp. is acquiring Excelon Corp. for $24 million.

Officials at Progress Software, a Beford, Mass.-based database and e-business company, said on Monday that they sought Excelons expertise in XML tools and data management software. Excelon is among a handful of key players in the XML database market.

During a call with reporters and analysts on Monday, Bud Robertson, senior vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer at Progress Software, said the boards of both companies unanimously approved the acquisition and he expects the deal to close "within 90 days." He said the impact on Progress 2003 finances would depend on when the deal closes.

Excelons product line includes its XIS (Extensible Information Server) and ObjectStore, the companys object database.

Progress CEO Joseph Alsop said the acquisition would expand the offerings of Sonic Software Corp., a subsidiary also based in Bedford, which offers a standards-based, distributed architecture for application integration. It will strengthens Sonics Enterprise Service Bus technology, he said.

Sonic Software officials said they expect the acquisition of Excelon will speed up the product strategy for Sonic technology by providing additional components.

Calling XML the lingua franca for enterprise integration, Sonic Software President Greg OConnor said the acquisition will give Sonic developers "a richer toolset" and improved XML performance "especially in distributed enterprise environments."

"We see tremendous synergies" between the companies and the technology, OConnor said during the conference call. He said Excelons XIS offers the opportunity for doing serious XML transformations, and the companys Stylus Studio presents "a development environment for doing transformation scripts."

Also during the call, Progress CEO Alsop said the companies products mesh well and serve the needs of their combined customer base.

"When youre addressing the kinds of integration challenges were looking at, the need for an embedded operational [data] store is a crucial piece," he said.

OConnor said he expects Progress and Sonic to integrate Excelons technology and have products featuring the integrated technologies available in the first half of next year.