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  1. Technology
November 24, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Level8 Systems Inc is to acquire the Cary, North Carolina application development house Seer Technologies Inc in what the two describe as a strategic merger. New York-based Level8, which recently licensed its Falcon MQ Bridge messaging integration to Microsoft Corp, says the combination of its messaging software with Seer gives it a broad base of enterprise application integration products. Seer’s HPS High Productivity System application development tool came originally from an in- house mainframe tool developed by First Boston Corp and funded by IBM Corp. Seer was founded in 1990, and originally competed with high-end application tool vendors and consultants such as TI Software and Arthur Andersen. It gradually moved the tools to run on multiple platforms, and most recently was attempting to turn itself into a component software house with its LightSpeed financial and vertical market application modules. During its glory days, around 1994, Seer achieved sales of up to $84m, but in 1995-6 began to turn in a series of losses, from which it never really recovered. Since then it’s lost a string of top executives, including founder Gene Bedell and subsequent CEO Thomas Wilson, formerly CEO of Xerox Corp subsidiary LiveWorks Inc. Level8 says it will open up HPS and combine it with its messaging and integration technology. Under the terms of the deal, Level 8 has agreed to acquire approximately 70% of the outstanding shares held by a group led by investment group Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, which will make a contribution to Seer of $17m. Level8 will contribute $12m, and the money will be used to help pay down Seer’s bank debt. WCAS will receive one million Level8 shares, and will purchase 250,000 more for $3m, or $12 a share. Level8 will acquire all the publicly traded shares of Seer for $0.35 a share. á

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