Best Software Set To Buy Timberline


ISV brings construction/rela estate know-how


Best Software said last week that its parent company, The Sage Group, is moving to acquire Timberline Software.

Technology from Timberline, an ISV that specializes in integrated financial and operations software for small and midsize businesses in construction and real estate, will be incorporated into Best Software's product line, which includes Peachtree, ACT and other business applications.


Best Software's Ron Verni: Deal will help meet clients' industry-specific needs.

Mark Dresser, president of Dresser & Associates, a Scarborough, Maine, solution provider that works exclusively with Best Software, said Timberline's focus on the construction/real estate space "is a nice vertical for us to support. We have some clients now that are using Timberline, and that are now looking at [Abra, Best Software's payroll and human resources suite]."

The deal, valued at $91.9 million, is expected to close by early 2004 at the latest, pending regulatory and shareholder approval. Timberline shareholders will receive $8.25 per share in cash for each share.

"We are looking forward to including Timberline's customers, management and employees in the Best Software family," said Best Software CEO Ron Verni in a statement. "Timberline is the ideal business partner for us to leverage our growth in the construction and real estate markets.

"The proposed transaction will reinforce Sage's and Best Software's strategy of expanding the depth and breadth of our products and services to meet the evolving, industry-specific requirements %85 in a variety of key industry segments," Verni said, referring to manufacturing, distribution, accounting, nonprofits and, following the merger, construction and real estate.

Beaverton, Ore.-based Timberline, a 30-plus-year-old company that says it has more than 20,000 users, will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Software, Irvine, Calif. Both companies rely on networks of resellers, systems integrators and solution providers to bring their products to the market.

Timberline's 2002 revenue was $61.9 million, more than half of which was generated by services.