Toronto, December 11th, 2007 - Softchoice Corporation (TSX: SO), a leading North American provider of technology solutions and services, has taken the next step in implementing its growth strategy by acquiring Software Plus, the largest corporate reseller of computer software in the U.S. Midwest and the industry's ninth largest Microsoft Large Account Reseller (LAR). The acquisition further strengthens Softchoice's standing as the fifth largest Microsoft LAR in North America.
Benefits from the transaction include the following:
- Brings Softchoice's Microsoft Enterprise Agreement expertise, virtual supply chain technology and TechCheckTM assessment services to Software Plus's customer base;
- Expands Softchoice's footprint in the US market with very little customer overlap resulting in high levels of synergy;
- Broadens Softchoice's customer platform in the U.S. and supports the Company's overall strategic plan to grow its market share along three dimensions - (1) in both hardware and software sales; (2) in both Canada and the U.S. and; (3) across the mid-market, enterprise and Public Sector segments.
Under the terms of the agreement Softchoice is paying approximately US$45 million to acquire Software Plus. On a trailing 12-month basis, Software Plus's revenues are estimated at approximately US$192 million. Softchoice expects the transaction will be accretive to shareholder value in 2008. Funding for the transaction was provided by an extension to Softchoice's current credit facility.
"Today is an important milestone in the implementation of our U.S. growth strategy," said David MacDonald, President and CEO of Softchoice. "As we build on our success in the small and mid-market and begin moving upstream into the enterprise space in the U.S., we are delighted to welcome aboard a new team of sales employees with a well-earned reputation for delivering comprehensive software licensing solutions to some of North America's most distinguished corporations. We look forward to serving our new customers with the same passion and dedication that has made Softchoice one of the industry's leading organizations."
Softchoice is the fifth largest Microsoft Large Account Reseller in North America and the largest provider of Microsoft Enterprise Agreement licensing based on the number of agreements managed. The Company's growth and success is due in large measure to its focus on helping organizations maximize the value of their IT investments. In addition to representation in more than 40 local markets across Canada and the U.S., the Company offers a number of innovative services designed to help organizations reduce the cost and complexity of managing their information technology resources. The acquisition of Software Plus represents a significant accomplishment in the execution of the Company's strategic plan to expand its market share in both hardware and software sales in Canada, the U.S. and in the mid-market, enterprise and public sector segments.
Software Plus is Softchoice's fourth acquisition to date and its second of 2007. On October 12th Softchoice completed the acquisition of the technology solutions and services divisions of NexInnovations Inc.
Software Plus Acquisition Conference Call
Softchoice will be hosting an investor conference call to discuss the acquisition of Software Plus at 12:30 p.m. EST on Wednesday December 12th, 2007.
David MacDonald, Softchoice's President and CEO, and Anne Brace, Softchoice's Chief Financial Officer, will host the call. The call will begin with a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.
To participate in the conference:
Toll-Free in North America: 1-866-214-7077
To listen to the call and view the web presentation: http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/softchoice/120407/index.php
To ensure participation, please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the conference call at 12:30 p.m. EST.
For those unable to attend the call, a link will be made available on the Softchoice web site to an archived web and audio version on December 13th, 2007.
As one of North America's leading providers of technology solutions and services, Softchoice helps businesses and organizations of all sizes to select, acquire and manage their software and hardware technology resources. Softchoice offers a full range of capabilities, including face-to-face consultations and IT asset management services designed to help customers save time, money and risk in IT procurement. In 2006, Softchoice was named Software Value Added Reseller (VAR) of the Year by VAR Business magazine. Softchoice currently has 753 employees operating from more than 40 branch offices located in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the trading symbol "SO". The Common Shares of Softchoice are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United States.
About Software Plus
Software Plus, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, is the largest corporate reseller of computer software, software licensing, and accessories in the U.S. Midwest specializing in value-added services. The company was founded in 1983 and through the innovative thinking and dedication of its staff the Company has experienced rapid and consistent sales growth. Software Plus business development managers are licensed contract resellers for the industry's leading technology software publishers, including Microsoft, Adobe, Attachmate, Symantec, McAfee, Corel, Novell and IBM. Through industry partnerships and regional sales teams, Software Plus serves businesses and corporations of all sizes throughout North America, including educational and governmental institutions.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, plans and timing for the introduction and enhancement of our services, and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release that are not historical fact. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "expect" and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, our ability to integrate the business of Software Plus with our own, including the ability to maintain its customers, the ability to eliminate costs, and changes in technology and general market conditions, many of which are set out or incorporated by reference in the Company's latest Annual Information Form. Due to the many risks and uncertainties, Softchoice cannot assure that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release will be realized.