Vignette to acquire portal vendor Epicentric

Content management software maker Vignette Corp. said Tuesday it will acquire privately held Epicentric Inc. for as much US$32 million in cash and stock.

San Francisco-based Epicentric, which makes portal software, will integrate its technology into Vignette's product line following the acquisition. The blending of technology is expected to reach customers in early 2003 when Austin, Texas-based Vignette releases an updated version of its latest content management software platform, Vignette V7. The first version of that software, which won't include Epicentric's portal software, is due out in December.

The deal is expected to close in December following shareholder and regulatory approval. It should increase Vignette's customer base by about 250, according to a statement from Vignette. The two companies already share some common customers, including DaimlerChrysler AG, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Motorola Inc.

Customers running existing software from Epicentric will receive continued product support and updates from Vignette in the future, the companies said.

Shares of Vignette (VIGN) have been trading on Nasdaq near or below $1 since August. Ahead of the company's announcement Tuesday, the shares lost about US$0.01, or 13 percent, to close at $0.83.

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