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Publishing software provider Quark looks to expand its enterprise digital publishing solution set with the purchase of Mobile IQ, a vendor of cloud-based digital publishing apps for smartphones and tablets.

Mobile IQ’s flagship application, PressRun, uses HTML5 to translate digital publishing content for mobile platforms including iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets. PressRun also supports content creation formats including XML and Adobe InDesign (a direct Quark competitor).

Quark Broadens its Horizons

Since its acquisition by California-based private equity firm Platinum Equity in August 2011, Quark has been working with the Platinum Equity M&A team to identify and pursue growth opportunities. According to a press release, Quark sees MobileIQ as an ideal opportunity to broaden its range of digital enterprise publishing solutions.

In particular, Quark intends to create an end-to-end digital enterprise publishing suite for mobile devices, and clearly the company sees acquiring Mobile IQ’s technology as the fastest way to enhance the capabilities of its mobile digital publishing offering. In addition, Mobile IQ offers a strong existing client base in the financial services, manufacturing and government niches.

Quark Continues Pursuit of App Functionality

Quark’s purchase of a cloud-based app specialist is a continuation of the company’s strategy to become an active participant in the digital publishing app marketplace. In September 2011, shortly after the Platinum Equity purchase, Quark simplified the process its users go through to create branded applications for the iPad, with the addition of a built-in Quark App Studio. This software suite enables content authors to design, publish and distribute apps meant for the iPad through the Apple iTunes store.

It is also worth noting that MobileIQ brings magazine publishing clients including Time, Inc. and New England Journal of Medicine to the deal. Magazine publishers have pursued digital publishing in a big way, including via apps for tablets and smartphones, and this purchase should also help Quark keep pace with developments in the digital magazine publishing space.

For example, in March 2012, magazine-focused content manager Godengo acquired Texterity, which provides a publishing platform for digital and mobile platform magazines. The new partnership could provide a single platform for publishing magazine content to any digital output channel. Godengo brings its browser-based content management system and Texterity brings its experience creating digital versions of magazines and mobile applications to create a one-stop shop for publishers. 

With MobileIQ technology in its arsenal, Quark can more effectively compete with Godengo and other digital publishing companies for magazine clients.

As part of the acquisition, Mobile IQ becomes a subsidiary of Quark. Mobile IQ customers will continue to work directly with the Mobile IQ team. Quark says users should expect “rapid integration” of Mobile IQ technology with Quark’s enterprise solutions. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.