Group 1 Software and Sagent Technology, Inc. announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Group 1 will acquire the key assets of Sagent for up to $17 million, payable in cash and debt forgiveness. Concurrent with the signing of the purchase agreement, Group 1 provided Sagent with $5 million in bridge financing, secured by all of Sagent's assets. Under the terms of the bridge financing, Group 1 has agreed to lend Sagent an additional $2 million upon approval of the purchase agreement by Group 1's board of directors.

The Sagent acquisition will add significant enterprise information integration and customer data integration technologies to Group 1's core data quality and data enrichment solutions. Group 1 will add to its product offerings Sagent's extract, transformation and load (ETL) technology, which is planned to be marketed as a standalone offering and integrated with Group 1's data quality solutions. Additionally, Group 1's geospatial analysis capabilities will be enhanced with the technology of Sagent's Centrus division.

"The acquisition will enable Group 1 to provide an even more comprehensive array of data quality, integration and enrichment technologies that support enterprise operating systems, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems," said Bob Bowen, CEO of Group 1 Software. "Furthermore, Sagent has sales and distribution operations in twenty countries worldwide, which can enable Group 1 to gain additional product distribution capabilities in a number of growing markets including Japan, China, South Africa, and others."

"We are very excited about the Sagent transaction, which will provide us with advanced and powerful technology to complement our own, plus a number of highly talented individuals and an enhanced global presence," continued Bowen. "Both Group 1 and Sagent help businesses harness the power of their most strategic competitive asset - customer information. We intend to utilize Group 1's strengths to build on the base of more than 1,500 global customers that have turned to Sagent to transform their corporate data into actionable information."

"I am pleased to have found such a great fit for Sagent's technology and customers," said Andre Boisvert, Sagent's Chairman and CEO. "With over 2,000 customers worldwide, powerful technology of its own and a stellar management team, Group 1 will be able to maximize and enhance Sagent's technology to further meet the needs of both companies' customers and the marketplace."

"The combined resources of Group 1 Software and Sagent bring together data quality, geospatial analysis and data integration technologies," said Henry Morris, vice president, applications and information access at IDC. "Sagent's technology offers the ability to integrate multiple sources of customer information with precise handling of geospatial data, extending the capabilities of Group 1 Software's data quality offerings and enhancing the value of a business's customer information. This acquisition also delivers improved reporting functionality, enabling businesses to receive critical feedback on their enterprise data quality processes."

The closing of the transaction is subject to satisfactory completion by Group 1 of its due diligence review, approval by Group 1's board of directors, and customary closing conditions, including approval by Sagent's stockholders. The $17 million purchase price will be paid through the cancellation of the bridge loans referred to above, with the remainder paid in cash. The purchase price is subject to reduction based on changes in the value of the acquired assets and assumed liabilities prior to closing. Subject to the approval of its stockholders, Sagent intends to wind up its business in accordance with applicable law following the closing of the asset sale, and thereafter effect a complete liquidation and dissolution.

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