Israeli library software developer Ex Libris Ltd. has acquired a US competitor, Endeavor Information Systems Inc. from international publisher Reed Elsevier Group plc (LSE; REL; Euronext:REN; NYSE: RUK, ENL). The company did not disclose the amount of the acquisition, but sources claim that it was made at a value of $30-40 million.
Ex Libris, founded in 1986, develops applications for libraries and information and research centers. A major company product is the Aleph integrated library system, known to students seeking information in libraries. The company began developing the system in 1980, when a group of librarians and systems analyzers tried to develop an automated library information system. The company has subsequently developed a number of other digital search programs.
In 1998, Ex Libris held its first financing round from Walden Israel and Tamar Technology Investors (Israel) LP. According to IVC Online, the company raised $4.3 million altogether. Until Francisco Partners acquired the company for $62 million in July 2006, Ex Libris’s shareholders were Yissum Technology Transfer Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with a 29% stake; Walden Israel - 25%; Tamar Technology - 15%; and the company’s founders and employees - 30%.
The acquisition of Endeavor Information Systems is Ex Libris’s first strategic move under its new management. Ex Libris’s customers include the British Library, the National Library of China, the Russian State Library, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Ex Libris said that, as a result of the acquisition of Endeavor Information Systems, its customers would include nine of the world’s top ten universities, 25 national libraries, and five of the world’s six largest libraries. The company predicts that the merged company will have almost $70 million in sales in the coming year.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on December 31, 2006
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