By Carol E. Curtis


January 22, 2009 - Autonomy Corp., an enterprise data management technology provider, announced today that it has agreed to buy San Diego-based Interwoven for $775 million. The deal, expected to close by the second quarter, is aimed at raising Autonomy’s profile in the legal and compliance industry.


Interwoven, founded in 1995, is a leader in Web content management, specializing in legal document management systems. With 4,600 customers worldwide, its clients include 1,200 of the top law firms. Under the terms of the acquisition, Interwoven shareholders will receive $16.20 per share, a premium of 36.8 percent over the Jan. 21 closing price of $11.84.


On a conference call, Mike Lynch, CEO of Autonomy, which is based in Cambridge , U.K. and San Francisco , said that the acquisition will allow his company to reach a new customer base. “We believe there is a big opportunity for us on the legal side … We see the ability to link the system operating in the law firm with the system operated by the client,” he said. Autonomy, which counts Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, the New York Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission among its 17,000 clients, offers electronic discovery, archiving and records management solutions.


The move follows Autonomy’s purchase of enterprise search specialist Verity in 2005 and e-discovery and compliance systems vendor Zantaz in 2007. The Interwoven deal, said Lynch, comes from the “same playbook” as those acquisitions. In an interview, chief marketing officer Nicole Eagan explained that Autonomy is “very much a technology company. We have a model where we identify high-performing companies with deep domain expertise in their markets, and then we insert our technology into their software product.”


“We believe customers will benefit from the combination of Autonomy’s industry-leading technology with Interwoven’s unmatched position in our target markets,” said Interwoven CEO Joe Cowan in a prepared statement. Interwoven also offers a post-trade processing platform for credit derivatives, Scrittura, that it acquired in 2005.

The increased demand for e-discovery solutions has been driven by regulatory changes such as those made in 2006 to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, specifying that all electronically stored information is discoverable in legal proceedings. The changes mean that far more electronic data is flowing from clients to law firms to be reviewed and processed.


Eagan added that with Autonomy’s expertise in managing “all relevant information,” and Interwoven’s reputation as the “de-facto standard for legal document management,” the deal “links the law firm together with the corporate legal department, and forms a complete chain.”


Autonomy says the combination of its “meaning-based computing” technologies and Interwoven’s solutions, which focus on managing the interactions between people and content, “will create a new set of technologies, updating and enhancing Interwoven’s products by reducing the manual effort now required … The combination will extend Autonomy’s legal and regulatory usage by top-end customers and regulators and the e-discovery marketplace into the practices of the world’s leading law firms, creating a larger combined market.”


Autonomy said it expects to achieve synergies of about $40 million a year by eliminating redundant administrative, marketing and other costs.


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