Borland International Inc has loosened the grip of the albatross that is Open Environment Corp (OEC) a little by spinning off OEC’s 17- person consulting division into a new Boston, Massachusetts company called NetNumina Corp. Borland wouldn’t say how much money it would save the troubled Scotts Valley company but confirmed that it was a cost- saving measure. Borland acquired OEC in May 1996 for its Entera so- called intelligent middleware for $65m in cash and stock, which at the time was riding fairly high (CI No 2,912). At the time OEC admitted it had overstretched itself, had not closed some crucial large deals and had an unfocused sales strategy. But the problems at OEC continued under Borland’s parentage and were at the center of Borland’s axing of 300 jobs in February (CI No 3,105). Borland now has no presence in Boston, where OEC was based, having spun out of Cambridge Technology Partners in 1989. All the
employees of NetNumina, which was set up for this purpose are from Borland and there are no job losses. The CEO is Gary Sabatino and he will drive the small company’s servicing Borland customers as well as looking for new ones. Meantime, Borland wants to assure people that it’s continuing to rev Entera. Version 3.2 came out last November, and the company says that the next cut, 4.0 will feature Java support and improved administration for native RPC Remote Procedure Call. Borland couldn’t say when the new version would appear, not even if it would arrive this year. A better idea of the extent of the malaise at Borland when it’s fourth quarter and year-end numbers come out after the markets close tomorrow, Tuesday. First Call’s average estimate is for losses per share of $0.49 for the quarter and $1.78 for the year. Borland’s shares closed Friday up six cents at $6.625.