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IBM agrees to acquire Candle

IBM has agreed to acquire privately held Candle Corp., a longstanding force in mainframe and distributed systems management software for an undisclosed sum. Reports estimate Candle's annual revenues at between $250 million and $300 million.

Like others before it, Candle initially made progress as it etched out a living in IBM mainframe after-markets, the market that many observers call the birthplace of the independent software supplier business. Candle started shipping its Omegamon MVS performance monitor - developed by founder and current chairman and CEO Aubrey Chernick - in 1976. Later on, the company extended the mainframe tools to support distributed systems and then purchased and built performance monitoring and other tools for IBM's WebSphere and MQSeries middleware product lines.

Officials from both firms estimated that the acquisition will be completed by mid-2004. Robert LeBlanc, general manager of IBM's Tivoli software unit, said the Candle operation will be integrated into his group, while its technologies are spread throughout the IBM Software Group. Candle technology provides "a critical piece of IBM's on-demand software initiative" and will be incorporated in offerings from the WebSphere, DB2, Lotus and Rational units as well as Tivoli.

Candle President and COO Andy Mullins said that as a small to mid-size software supplier, Candle was faced with a choice of "dramatically expanding our product portfolio or finding a larger partner that's synergistic" as more and more corporate users sought to cut the number of software suppliers.

After considerable success in performance monitoring for mainframe data centers, it forged into client/server distributed systems. More recently it has focused on MQSeries monitors, and WebSphere performance tools.

Led by Chernick throughout the company's history, Candle outlasted many other IBM after-market specialists, notably including Boole & Babbage, which became part of BMC Software in 1999. In recent years, Computer Associates has been a prime competitor of Candle.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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