Vignette to Acquire Epicentric

Move will allow the content management vendor to expand the capabilities of its Web applications.

Vignette Corp. announced Tuesday a definitive agreement to acquire portal software developer Epicentric Inc., a move that would allow the content management vendor to expand the capabilities of its Web applications.

The deal is valued at $32 million in cash and restricted stock.

Vignette officials, in Austin, Texas, said the acquisition will enable the company to expedite its "real-time enterprise" vision for information management and user interactions.

"Vignettes acquisition of Epicentric is in response to overwhelming customer demand for integrated solutions that enable the rapid deployment of Web-based business applications," said Thomas Hogan, president and CEO of Vignette, in a statement. "By combining the market leading technologies of Vignette and Epicentric, we will deliver the first integrated foundation for enterprise Web applications to turn the real-time delivery of information assets into a competitive advantage."

Vignette will add Epicentrics portal and content delivery management capabilities to its just announced Vignette V7 content management applications, Vignette officials said.

Epicentrics technology will enhance the Vignette foundation with a number of portal-based services such as security, central role management, presentation management and targeted content delivery, Vignette officials said. San Francisco-based Epicentric will bring 250 new customers into the Vignette fold. Joint customers of the two companies include DaimlerChrysler AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Motorola Inc., Verizon and Vodafone plc.

"This acquisition is a great, strategic fit at every level," Hogan said.

Vignettes recently announced Vignette V7 products will be generally available in December, with full Epicentric support for Vignette V7 slated for the first quarter of 2003, according to Vignette officials. Customers who purchase Epicentric business solutions in the interim will receive product support and product updates from Vignette once the acquisition closes, officials said.

The deal is expected to close in December and has already been approved by a majority of shareholders of the privately held Epicentric.