Ex-Libris Buys Rival Company Endeavor Information Systems

Guy Grimland
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Guy Grimland

Francisco Partner, a technology-focused private equity funds and owner of Ex Libris, which develops software for libraries and information centers, last week announced the acquisition of rival company Endeavor Information Systems of Elsevier.

The Israeli company, founded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was sold to Francisco Partner for $62 million in July 2006. The merger revealed last Thursday is a giant step towards creating a leader in its sphere.

The acquisition was originally announced on November 21, 2006, under a share purchase agreement.

The combined entity will operate as the Ex Libris Group with its technologies deployed at more than 4,000 customer institutions around the world, the companies said.

The acquisition is intended to enable Ex Libris Group to invest substantial resources in product development, focusing on existing solutions as well as future offerings, with the objective of strengthening the company's position in the global library software industry.

The companies didn't say how much they were paying for Endeavor, but industry sources have whispered that it?s about $50 million. There is no confirmation for that figure.

Ex-Libris CEO Mati Shem-Tov told TheMarker that the combined entity will have 400 employees, of whom 150 work in Israel, 150 in the States, and 100 around the world.

At present Ex-Libris maintains seven offices in 24 countries. The merged company is expected to reach $68 million sales in 2007.

Why was it sold? Shem-Tov explains that its owner had felt the software company to be non-core, and added that Ex-Libris had been planning the acquisition for two years.

Does Ex-Libris mean to buy anybody else: Shem-Tov: "We shall continue to deepen our hold on the digital libraries market, and to develop additional products for it."

Every student in Israel knows Ex-Libris, which makes the Aleph software running the university library. Outside Israel, thousands of academic institutions use Ex-Libris library and cataloging programs.

In 2007 Ex-Libris means to deliver new versions of its flagship programs Aleph-500 and Voyager, the latter of which is Endeavor's.