Netscape Communications Corp is looking to beef up its enterprise server efforts by acquiring privately-held Kiva Software Corp, a Mountain View, California-based start-up that sells enterprise-class intranet, extranet and internet applications server software. Netscape said it would purchase 100 percent of Kiva stock and options, for approximately 6.3 million new Netscape shares, valuing the deal at around $179.6m based on the company’s closing price of $28.5 per share yesterday, prior to the late announcement. Founded in 1995, Kiva Software has around 100 employees and according to Netscape, has been working with the Netscape for the past year to develop its thin client, web application development software. Netscape says that it has been looking to push its software offerings into the larger enterprise extranet/intranet space for sometime and that it will sell Kiva’s Enterprise Server development software alongside its own workgroup application line. Netscape’s own Enterprise Server product only suffices for smaller workgroup applications. Netscape says it will fold Kiva into Netscape’s server products division headed by senior vice president and general manager John Paul and that it expects the transaction will close in the fourth quarter. Kiva software is currently being used by a range of companies for internet sites including E-Trade, the Internet Shopping Network and at Hong Kong Telecom. According to Marty Cagan, vice president of platforms and tools at Netscape, the software already matches much of Netscape’s own technology, being built around a thin client web server model using Corba, Java and dynamic HTML although he says that more work will be undertaken to develop closer links between Kiva’s software and Netscape’s directory and security technology. Kiva’s application server version 1.5 is priced at $35,000 per processor on Unix and $25,000 per processor on Windows NT. Its application server 2.0 is scheduled for availability in December 1997. Netscape says it will keep the pricing model of Kiva products the same.
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