Mgmt World: Tibco's Oh-So-Quiet OSS Acquisition
Neither party publicly announced it: The only public indication a deal has been done is the message on the Kabira Website that states the company is "now a part of Tibco Software."
And it's not as if it's an insignificant move. Kabira has more than 100 carrier customers for its transaction middleware platform, including big names like AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Orange (NYSE: FTE), and VimpelCom Ltd. (NYSE: VIP). The company also claims to have policy management and service fulfillment software tools, but there has been little evidence of these in the market.
So why so shy?
The reason, it seems, is that Kabira was close to going under, and its investors were no longer funding the company. One industry source says Kabira was effectively given away -- "term sheet" acquisition documents were being supplied to prospective buyers with a price of $0.
Whoever took the company on, though, had to assume its small level of debt and its operations costs, but potential bidders were given only a few days to decide if they were interested. Tibco, it seems, was more interested than anyone else and, according to sources, is now laying off the majority of Kabira's staff.
Neither Tibco nor Kabira had stands here on the show floor in Nice, but Kabira had a speaker, director of technical sales Arnaud Chevalier, at the show (so we tracked him down).
Chevalier says he doesn't know about any layoffs, and that he can't comment on whether the company was given away for nothing because he "doesn't know anything about that." [Ed. note: Chevalier did, however, concede, "Thank heaven for little girls."] The Kabira/Tibco man adds that the company will continue to focus on the telecom space, and is, in fact, part of Tibco's renewed effort to address telecom sector opportunities.
Tibco did, indeed, recently announce a global partnership with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to address "operator challenges in telco markets," a move that involves the integration of Tibco's enterprise software with Huawei's BSS solution, so there does appear to be evidence of some market action on Tibco's part. In addition, the company recently announced a deal with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA), which will use the vendor's software to build a "real-time, event-driven order management platform."
Tibco had not returned Light Reading's calls as this article was published.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading