Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ex Libris to be Acquired by Francisco Partners

In a joint announcement library software producer Ex Libris and the California-based equity fund Francisco Partners (FP) have announced they have reached a "definitive agreement" on the acquisition of 100% of Ex Libris by FP. The final acquisition is expected to occur in September of this year.

For those of us wed to Ex Libris in a sort of codependent "love-hate" marriage the news brings a mixed response. On one hand an infusion of solid management and a dose of cold, hard cash can certainly be a good thing. On the other hand, equity funds expect performance and it is likely that the entire Ex Libris product line will be evaluated for return on investment. That doesn't bode well for a couple of products, notably their Aleph LMS. Ex Libris said in their internal announcement that nothing will change, stating:
"Ex Libris will continue to develop and enhance its existing products based on market trends and requirements generated by our customers. The financial backing of Francisco Partners will enable us to explore acquisition opportunities for complementary products in the library automation and e-resource markets."

Time will tell.

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