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July 10, 1990

INGRES “SET TO OFFER ITSELF FOR SALE” IN WAKE OF DEC RIFT

By CBR Staff Writer

After a storming third quarter, Ingres Corp is preparing to report poor fourth quarter and year-end figures in the wake of DEC’s sudden decision not to proceed with an investment in the company, and word in the industry is that rather than seek another major investor, it has called in Goldman Sachs & Co to find a buyer. That is pure rumour at this point was all that Ingres would say. An Ingres spokeswoman told Computer Systems News that the company would report sales of about $150m for the year to June 30, which would represent a 15% rise over fiscal 1989, but an 11% decline for the fourth quarter, indicating a loss for the year. There are conflicting reports as to why DEC withdrew from its offer to take a 20% stake in Ingres. The most publicised version, and that repeated by Mark Wells, UK sales and marketing director for Ingres, is that the two could not agree on Open Systems – DEC said open systems equals Ultrix, and Ingres did not want to be compromised on this issue. Some industry observers believe that DEC wants to disengage from any relation-ship with Ingres, others say DEC is now committed to a diverse database strategy for Ultrix: Ingres is currently bundled with Ultrix, while Sybase is recommended for security-conscious markets. If DEC does abandon Ingres, Mark Wells believes that Ingres would not be impacted. He says that at a corporate level up to 10% of Ingres’ revenues come directly from DEC, around 2% directly from ICL – but sales of Ingres for DEC’s VMS represent a massive 60% of turnover. Wells also disputes that the DEC and ICL pacts mask the fact that growth in the rest of the business has been slow over the past two years, saying UK staff has grown 33% to 200 this fiscal. If Ingres does offer itself for sale, most fancied buyers are Hewlett- Packard Co and ICL – some say it was the former cosying up to Ingres that prompted DEC to announce plans for an equity stake; Wells says Hewlett-Packard has the fastest- growing Unix line on which Ingres runs; Hewlett would not comment.

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