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Softek declares its independence

Backed by financing from three capital investment firms, Softek has flown the Fujitsu nest and is now an independent company. What's the plan?

PHOENIX -- Softek announced Tuesday a management buyout that will spin off the storage management software maker from parent company Fujitsu to create an independent company.

The buyout was enabled by the financial backing of three investment firms, Investcorp, Columbia Capital and Needham Capital Partners. Softek also announced two management personnel changes and business realignments to coincide with the buyout.

Steven Murphy, President and CEO of Softek, said the buyout immediately creates a $40 million profitable company, and was all part of a plan to allow Softek to "fulfill its promise to customers" by becoming an independent, unbiased company that can offer hardware-independent products. Murphy said Softek's separation from Fujitsu was a "fundamental evolution of the business plan" designed three years ago.

Coming out from under Fujitsu's wing at this time, said Murphy, "puts us in a unique place" positioned between startup companies and "the big guys like Computer Associates." Softek has not completely cut the cord, however, and will maintain an OEM relationship with Fujitsu.

As an independent company, Murphy said, Softek will be able to pursue new business opportunities, particularly in mainframe environments. He said he anticipates "driving the business rapidly into more platforms" and entering new OEM agreements with hardware manufacturers.

Towards this end, Softek also announced that Herb Jones has joined the company's executive team, as vice president and general manager of the new Mainframe Solutions Group. Karen Dutch, previously Softek's vice president of product development, now assumes the role of vice president and general manager of the Open Systems Group.


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