Interwoven Snapped Up by Autonomy

Well, didn't really see that one coming, did you? The Wall Street Journal has reported today that Autonomy, one of the leading search providers, has bought Interwoven for US$ 775 million. Is the world of Enterprise Content Management about to take a significant change in direction?

They are calling it the "World's First Comprehensive Manage-In-Place Architecture". Together, the combined customer base is over 20,000.

The Autonomy/Interwoven Deal

According to Autonomy's website:

"Under the terms of the Acquisition Agreement, it is proposed that Interwoven stockholders will receive $16.20 in cash for each outstanding Interwoven share, representing a premium of 36.8% to the closing share price of $11.84 on January 21, 2009, and a premium of 36.2% to the average closing share price over the 30 days through January 21, 2009."
Aggregate consideration totals approximately US$ 775 million and is funded by an underwritten placing of ordinary shares, a new revolving credit facility from Barclays and a portion of both Interwoven and Autonomy's cash reserves.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year (2009), leaving Autonomy with an expected post-closing cash balance of around US$ 75 million. With all directors and selected executives of both Autonomy and Interwoven agreeing to vote in favor of the acquisition, it's pretty much as given that the rest of the process will happen relatively smoothly.

Why Autonomy Did It

Autonomy believes that this acquisition will enable them to provide their customers the "next generation unstructured information management software" and will strengthen their access to the worldwide legal and compliance industry that Interwoven has a strong presence within.

The combination of Autonomy's IDOL technology and Interwoven's suite of enterprise content management products will see the creation of a new set of technologies that will help reduce some of the manual effort now required for some of Interwoven's products.

Why Interwoven Did It

As one of the most well-known and largest enterprise content management providers, Interwoven has over 4,600 customers worldwide with a lead in the legal industry. Interwoven says their solutions power over 100,000 corporate websites, intranets and extranets.

There's not a lot of information coming from Interwoven on the deal. Maybe they are laying low for now until the dust settles. After all, they just announced a number of layoffs to help improve efficiencies and cut costs.

If you read the FAQs on their website, Interwoven pretty much agrees that this deal will only strengthen their global reach and offer customers a brand new way to discover, analyze and manage information.

As Autonomy is already used in some Interwoven products, Interwoven states that this acquisition will continue to strengthen and enhance their product lines, including their newest eDiscovery line -- something Autonomy has great experience with.

What About Vignette

Autonomy already has an extensive partnership with Vignette. The IDOL comes bundles with the Vignette Portal and is used within their Content Management platform.

Does this deal cause worry for Vignette, who is already struggling to maintain their viability in the market. With Interwoven tucked safely under Autonomy's wings, the search provider may not feel the need to work so diligently on Vignette integrations.

That being said, it is a smart move for Autonomy is sign on for two of the biggest ECM vendors in the industry.

You can listen global broadcast of the acquisition news and continue reading our coverage here: Will Interwoven Leave the Web Content Management Market?