Forrester Completes Giga Acquisition

Plus, Electronics For Imaging wins bid for Printcafe

Cambridge, MA Ñ March 4, 2003 Ñ Technology consultancy Forrester Research this week completed its acquisition of fellow analysis firm Giga Information Group, which will henceforth operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Forrester.

And in other mergers and acquisitions news, Electronics For Imaging reported that it would purchase Printcafe Software after a competing suitor withdrew its own bid for Printcafe.

Twenty-year-old Forrester announced its plans to acquire eight-year-old Giga in January and last week closed its cash tender offer for all shares of common stock of Giga for $4.75 per share, making the deal worth more than $50 million.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission authorities had given the deal the green light earlier in February.

Both consultancies are based in Cambridge, Mass., and both focus on aspects of the technology market, but George Colony, Forrester's chairman of the board and CEO, described the two firms' research focuses as complementary rather than competing. Forrester said it had already begun integrating Giga into its organization.

The two consultancies have seen revenues dip as the technology industry has struggled over the past two years. Giga reported in January that it expected 2002 revenues to come in at approximately $63.2 million, down from 2001 revenues of $70.3 million. Forrester reported 2002 revenues of $96.9 million, compared with $159.1 million for 2001.

The firms' combined revenues put them still well behind industry gorilla Gartner, which reported revenues for 2002 of $887.6 million. On the other hand, Forrester and Giga have remained in the black throughout the latest downturn, which has claimed other consultancies, such as the defunct Hurwitz Group, which shut down last year.

Meanwhile, in other M&A news, Electronics For Imaging won in the race to purchase print industry solution provider Printcafe Software. The two signed a merger agreement last week providing for EFI's acquisition of Printcafe for $2.60 per share, just a day after competing suitor Creo withdrew a bid of $3.00 per share. (See related story.)

In a statement, EFI CEO Guy Gecht said that, together, his company's printing workflow offering and Printcafe's solutions for the printing supply chain would provide printers and their customers with "powerful end-to-end solutions" for print procurement and production.

Marc Olin, president and CEO of Printcafe, said the merger opened up new opportunities for the combined company. "Our combination with EFI will expand our markets by offering integrated management software solutions for both our print buyer and printer clients," Olin said.

The merger agreement contains customary conditions to closing and must be approved by Printcafe's stockholders. The deal is expected to close in the second calendar quarter.