Arete Systems Corp and Plexus Computers Inc have signed an agreement to merge their operations in an exchange of stock; the agreement is subject to approval by shareholders of both firms, but both are privately held so no financial details were given. The combined company will go under the Plexus Computer Inc name (no-one was sure how to pronounce Arete), and Plexus president and chief executive Paul Klein will hold the same posts at the new merged company. The combined revenues of the two San Jose companies totalled $65m last year; Plexus says it did $30m last year, implying about $35m for Arete. Together they have 500 employees worldwide. Both companies manufacture Unix systems: Arete’s multiprocessor systems are mainly for transaction processing; Plexus just introduced its Extended Data Processing systems, designed to offer mixed-mode processing for image, text and data on departmental computers supporting IBM Personals. The pair cite their different sales fields as one reason for the merger: Arete operates mainly in the OEM market, with Unisys its biggest customer, while Plexus stresses end-user and value-added reseller sales. The merger will give Plexus users a growth path beyond its new line of 68020 boxes.