Viesta acquires Viewlocity

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Viesta acquires Viewlocity

Analysts have been singing the praises of supply chain event management solutions for some time now, but the marketplace itself has never been quite sure what to make of these visibility-enabling applications. Emblematic of how difficult that market has been is the continuing evolution of Viewlocity Inc. (www.viewlocity.com), one of the best known SCEM vendors.

Just a year ago, Viewlocity acquired two companies in a mega-merger deal — SynQuest, a provider of supply chain planning solutions, and Tilion, another SCEM vendor whose product never quite made it past the vaporware stage.

Analysis

The problem for Viewlocity — and indeed, all of the niche providers of SCEM applications — is that the big-name supply chain and enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors caught on very quickly to the benefits of event management and began offering SCEM capabilities within their full product offerings. So instead of facing off against a relatively small group of similarly-sized SCEM vendors, Viewlocity found itself taking on the likes of SAP, Oracle, i2 Technologies and Manugistics, just to name a few.

To remain on solid financial footing, Viewlocity has agreed to be acquired by Viesta Corp., a newly formed company created for the purposes of this transaction. Viewlocity will receive significant new equity financing from Investcorp, a global investment group.

Investcorp, basically, functions as a gray knight for Viewlocity’s investors, who basically received nothing for their shares (the actual amount is $0.000083 per common share), but at least will benefit from the continuing possibility that with solid financial backing, Viewlocity could become profitable.

In its most recent quarter, Viewlocity had revenues of $4.9 million, with a net loss of $3.7 million.

“We think there is a real potential for them to become a future leader in the supply chain software space, and look forward to helping them build the business and increase their market presence,” says Savio Tung of Investcorp.

Viewlocity had sought an acquisition deal with numerous third parties and investment firms that would have provided a more favorable return for shareholders and creditors, but nobody stepped forward to bail out Viewlocity on those sorts of terms. Faced with few options, Viewlocity’s board of directors — and creditors — reached the conclusion that the company would have to shut down unless it agreed to the Viesta deal.

Viewlocity will now operate as a privately-held subsidiary of Viesta. LT

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October, 2003

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