Corel, recent buyer of virtualization software firm Parallels, acquired by private equity ...

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Longtime software maker Corel, which in December purchased popular cross-platform virtualization software maker Parallels, was itself recently acquired by private equity firm KKR, according to a report Tuesday.


Parallels became a subsidiary or Corel in December.


Citing sources familiar with the matter, TechCrunch reports a memo to Corel staff confirms the sale to KKR, which was first rumored in May. At the time, PE Hub claimed KKR was in negotiations to buy Corel from Vector Capital, a PE firm whose stake in Corel has fluctuated since 2003, as part of a deal worth over $1 billion.

According to the memo, KKR is "very optimistic" about Corel and will grant the company an "infusion of capital" to expand its current business, the TechCrunch report said. The investment will also go toward new acquisitions like the Parallels buy accomplished in December.

Corel is a storied Canadian software company with a number of well established titles under its belt including CorelDRAW, WordPerfect and WinZip. While its flagship products have largely been usurped by offerings from competitors Microsoft and Adobe, the company continues to market its core line as it branches out with more modern solutions like CorelCAD.

As for Parallels, the acquisition last year was the latest in a long line of industry moves to build out Corel's stable of subsidiaries. The Canadian company has collected a number of notable software standouts since its founding in 1985, from developers like Bibble and JASC Software to products like WordPerfect.

That trend should continue under KKR if the memo is accurate.

More recently, Corel has deviated from a concentration on creative and productivity applications to properties better suited to serve the needs of contemporary computer users. As noted by TechCrunch, Corel's recent acquisitions demonstrate a shift in focus toward e-commerce, subscriptions and other areas.

Parallels develops a virtualization toolset that presents users a cohesive work environment across multiple platforms including Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and more.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Besides law firms, does WordPerfect have a significant number of users? I used to prefer it to Word largely because of the reveal codes feature but I reluctantly made the switch to Word 20 years ago because that was what virtually everyone else was using by then.
    cornchip
  • Reply 2 of 13
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 456member
    Wow, the big fish being eaten by the bigger fish. But kinda odd for KKR.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    mindwavesmindwaves Posts: 87member
    I remember when Corel OS, the Linux distribution came out. Everyone raved about it, how wonderful the interface was and such. Not sure what happened, but Corel still has bones.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,752member
    I’ve never used Parallels as I’ve been a loyal VMWare Fusion user.  Now though, I wouldn’t touch Parallels with a mile-long stick.  Usually companies like these don’t last long when private equity firms get involved like they’re doing here.
    planetary pauldysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 13
    I am using Parallels on a regular basis. Frankly, I’m not sure what to think of this.
    planetary pauljohnnashols
  • Reply 6 of 13
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 558member
    sflocal said:
    I’ve never used Parallels as I’ve been a loyal VMWare Fusion user.  Now though, I wouldn’t touch Parallels with a mile-long stick.  Usually companies like these don’t last long when private equity firms get involved like they’re doing here.
    I’ve been using Parallels since v3, well before Fusion was released. When Fusion came out I gave it a shot, but it caused frequent kernel panics when using VMs stored on external media.

    A few years later, with 2-3 Macs I use regularly, I tried Fusion 7 because VMWare has a much more liberal license policy (that is, one license can be installed on up to three Macs, while Parallels requires a license for each, even when only one is in use at a time). I hated how it treats multiple displays - when using multiple displays on a guest, it does not allow you to switch those displays independently. I frequently will have one display showing a guest OS while the other displays my host OS windows and I switch back and forth. Parallels allows this. Fusion does not. If you swipe one display’s space, the other display switches as well. This is a show stopper and is not even a selectable option. From what I can tell, this still exists in current versions of Fusion.

    For this reason alone I pay for two Parallels licenses rather than a single Fusion license.
    edited July 3 bloggerblogcgWerksFileMakerFellertoysandme
  • Reply 7 of 13
    KKR doesn't seem to act predatory, as in buy-and-destroy for a quick buck. KKR of course imposes changes in the companies they buy to make them more profitable for them, but whether that has an effect on end customers in this particular case is too early to tell. We'll just have to wait and see.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,423member
    macseeker said:
    Wow, the big fish being eaten by the bigger fish. But kinda odd for KKR.


    "There's always a bigger fish" - Qui-Gon Jinn.


    GeorgeBMacjohnnash
  • Reply 9 of 13
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 177member
    macseeker said:
    Wow, the big fish being eaten by the bigger fish. But kinda odd for KKR.
    On the surface maybe, but actually not that odd... they'll look over the products/business unitsIP, butcher (slice/dice) and sell the meat of the company to turn a high ROI in a short period.

    It's what most of these folks in this space do... if you have the capital it's far easier than doing something additive/productive to earn crazy returns.

     (Disclosure: I've worked for a KKR owned firm).
    cornchip
  • Reply 10 of 13
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 765member
    sflocal said:
    I’ve never used Parallels as I’ve been a loyal VMWare Fusion user.  Now though, I wouldn’t touch Parallels with a mile-long stick.  Usually companies like these don’t last long when private equity firms get involved like they’re doing here.
    aknabi said:
    macseeker said:
    Wow, the big fish being eaten by the bigger fish. But kinda odd for KKR.
    On the surface maybe, but actually not that odd... they'll look over the products/business unitsIP, butcher (slice/dice) and sell the meat of the company to turn a high ROI in a short period.

    It's what most of these folks in this space do... if you have the capital it's far easier than doing something additive/productive to earn crazy returns.

     (Disclosure: I've worked for a KKR owned firm).
    Yeah, that's my fear, that Corel will end up filleted and sold off by the pound. I've seen a lot of companies get bought out by other companies. If the bigger company is in a field related, it often turns out okay. But if it is an anonymous, "Venture Capitol Firm" the result is often bad. All they look for is quick profit, and to sell off the assets. Think Sears. So, we will see how this turns out, but I'm not optimistic.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 686member
    CorelDraw was, like, my whole 1990’s. I'll never shut up about Adobe in 2012 bragging about new Illustrator features that we were enjoying over a decade earlier.

    Too bad the corporation could never get their shit together. good night, sweet prince
    cornchip
  • Reply 12 of 13
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,349member
    So we can expect Corel to slowly go downhill until driven to closure and a fire-sale of all assets... Late stage capitalism continues its downward plunge.
  • Reply 13 of 13
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 836member
    People who make B movies can still earn a living. There's lots of room for B products in an ABC world.

    Live and let Live. Or Live and let Die. But both these expressions share the word "let".
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