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Agreement Creates Leading Business Open Source Database Company

    Online News published in DMReview.com
November 8, 2005

Computer Associates International, Inc. and Garnett & Helfrich Capital, a private equity firm specializing in venture buyouts, announced a partnership to divest CA's Ingres open source database unit into an independent corporate entity, Ingres Corporation.

As a result of the transaction, Garnett & Helfrich Capital is the majority shareholder in Ingres Corporation. CA has acquired an ownership stake in Ingres and will have the right to appoint a member to its Board of Directors. CA also intends to work with Ingres on product development, industry partnerships and marketing activities.

As an independent entity, Ingres will focus exclusively on the development dynamics and business opportunities associated with the open source market.  The divestiture will also enable CA to focus on its core strategic markets, which include systems and security management for the enterprise.

"This partnership with Garnett & Helfrich represents a step toward rationalizing CA's solutions portfolio and provides Ingres with the dedicated resources and focus to ensure its future success," said John A. Swainson, president and CEO of CA.  "It also provides CA with favorable economics and we believe it will assure continued support for CA's current customers and position Ingres for leadership in the business open source database market."

"During the past year, CA has been looking closely at its solutions portfolio and deciding how to best focus investment dollars on growth areas," Swainson continued.  "Part of that program has been aimed at internal development, part on making key acquisitions and the last part on finding ways to unlock the value of solutions areas that, while not strategic to CA's core business, have significant potential in the marketplace.  Our partnership with Garnett & Helfrich will bring the focus and investment required to unlock the value of the Ingres solution."     

"Open source software is being widely embraced by enterprise IT organizations seeking to optimize their flexibility, time-to-innovation and return on technology investments," said Terry Garnett, managing director, Garnett & Helfrich Capital and interim CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors of Ingres.  "By moving the Ingres product to an independent company, we can more effectively capitalize on this market momentum by attracting top industry talent, accelerating the evolution of our technology and expanding our strategic partnerships."

Prior to forming Garnett & Helfrich Capital with his partner, David Helfrich, in 2003, Mr. Garnett spent eight years with Venrock Associates where he was an early investor in Siebel, Check Point Software, Niku, Neoforma and Neon Software.  He was also actively involved in forming and funding CrossWorlds Software with his wife, Katrina Garnett, CrossWorlds' founder and CEO, which went public in 2000 and was acquired by IBM in 2001.  Prior to Venrock, Mr. Garnett served as senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing and Business Development with Oracle Corporation, reporting to Larry Ellison, in addition to being a member of the Executive Management Committee. 

"Our goal is to become the leading business open source database supplier to the enterprise community," said Mr. Garnett.  "In recent years, CA has made a significant investment in making Ingres one of the leading mission-critical databases in the marketplace, serving an installed base of more than 5,000 customers around the world.  As a proven high-performance transactional database system, Ingres is poised to address the needs of the business open source community - as well as software and hardware providers - for their most challenging applications."

Joining Mr. Garnett on the board of Ingres Corporation will be Mark Barrenechea of CA, Michael Rocha formerly of Oracle,and David Helfrich of Garnett & Helfrich Capital. 

CA acquired the Ingres technology in 1994 as part of its purchase of the ASK Group.  Ingres began as an early relational database management system at the University of California, Berkeley 30 years ago.  The initial code base for Ingres was available under a version of the BSD license and it became a commercial DBMS in the mid-1980s.  In 2004, CA released the Ingres database to the open source community under the CA Trusted Open Source License, a derivative of the common public license that is compliant with the Open Source Initiative.  

"The open source business model has been validated and has gained acceptance among enterprise customers," said Robin Bloor, partner, Hurwitz & Associates. This move by CA with Garnett & Helfrich will make waves in the commercial database market for the incumbent vendors.  This is the kind of well-backed, focused entity that customers and industry leaders want to work with as they expand their commitment to open source."

The Ingres transaction with CA is Garnett & Helfrich Capital's second VBO transaction since the firm's inception in 2004.  Earlier this year, Garnett & Helfrich acquired a controlling stake in Wyse Technology.  Wyse is the leading provider to the world's largest businesses and institutions of hardware, software and services for scalable thin client computing solutions.  Mr. Garnett is the Chairman of Wyse and Mr. Helfrich also serves on the board.  Garnett & Helfrich Capital's VBO approach applies the entrepreneurial background and operational experience of its founders to reposition its companies for substantial growth based on enhanced management, product and market strategies.

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For more information on related topics visit the following related portals...
Open Source.

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