Leading the flurry of press releases that come out at each ALA meeting, SirsiDynix and Vista Equity Partners have announced the finishing toucheson the latter’s full acquisition of the former. As of today, Vista Equity Partners is sole owner of one of the biggest library automation firms.
It’s worth noting that the financial picture has to do with the fact that Seaport Capital was invested in SirsiDynix with a tenure fund. The tenure ran out and SirsiDynix was looking for a new investor. While this might seem like an anathema to the library world, this is how the business world works.
Our investment philosophy is to enable good businesses to achieve their full potential. This starts by selecting well-positioned companies with attractive market dynamics, aligning the interests of management with those of shareholders, and reducing unnecessary distractions.
My crystal ball is still pretty fuzzy on what all this might mean. There has been some new conjecture from across the ocean. Nevertheless, I still think it is premature to start talking about when Vista will sell the company to someone else, or what SirsiDynix’s executive team will look like.
If you’re wondering what happened to some of the folks after the SirsiDynix merger, you might be interested in Alpha Bay, founded by former Dynix CEO Jack Blount. From a look at their executives page, it looks like some SirsiDynix and Dynix folks followed him there.
Back to SirsiDynix….Vista will undoubtedly have some input as to how to run a company more efficiently. “Synergistic opporunities” will undoubtedly arise. SirsiDynix will educate Vista about the library automation business. With due diligence, I am sure this has already occurred. All of this can also be applied to the recent acquisition of Ex Libris and Endeavor.
There will be more conjecture and rumors in Seattle. I’ll try to add insightful analysis here as it emerges and save my wild speculations for offline conversations. As for things to watch, well, I will keep watching things unfold with Vista and Francisco, but I am also keenly interested in how OCLC and the open source community will react to these market changes. I also imagine that some of the remaining ILS vendors will be looking for merger or buyout opportunities. Others will steadfastly remain “independent.” Here’s a prediction for now: Things will continue to change.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]