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Pivotal opts for merger with Chinadotcom unit

Pivotal has signed a definitive merger agreement with Chinadotcom unit CDC Software after abandoning an earlier agreement with Oak Investment Partners, which planned to merge Pivotal with Talisma, another maker of midmarket CRM software.

Barring any further twists, the deal will be ratified at a shareholders meeting in February. CDC Software will pay approximately $59m for Pivotal.

Hong Kong-based Chinadotcom will use Pivotal's CRM technology as a component of the enterprise resource planning suite CDC Software is constructing through acquisitions. The company recently purchased analytics and supply-chain management applications, and is working to complete a $69m purchase of manufacturing industry ERP software company Ross Systems early next year.

Pivotal will operate as a separate business unit within CDC Software, and will stay at its headquarters in Vancouver. CDC Software will continue developing Pivotal's software, and will also work to integrate it with other applications in the company's portfolio in the hope of cross-selling those applications to existing Pivotal customers.

CDC Software will also expand Pivotal's reach in the Asia-Pacific region, the territory on which CDC Software focuses.

Spurned suitor Onyx still hopes to woo some of Pivotal's customers. The company is offering a migration program allowing customers who purchased Pivotal's software before 12 November and enrolled in Pivotal's maintenance program to trade in their Pivotal licences for licences of Onyx Enterprise CRM 4.5. Details on the program are at http://www.onyx.com/Pivotal/.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service


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