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CA spins Ingres off to independent company

CA spins Ingres off to independent company

CA is selling its Ingres database to a private equity firm that is forming a new company, Ingres Corp. to develop and market the open-source software.

Computer Associates International (CA) is selling its Ingres database technology to private equity firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital, which is forming a new company to develop and market the open-source software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

CA released Ingres last year as an open-source project, reviving interest in the dormant software. Still, databases have never been a core part of CA's portfolio. CA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) John Swainson cast the Ingres sale as part of CA's larger effort to streamline the vast collection of applications it amassed through a decade of heavy acquisitions in the 1990s. Ingres came to CA through its 1994 buyout of ASK/Ingres

CA retains a minority ownership stake in Ingres Corp., the new entity, and will maintain a seat on the company's board. Mark Barrenchea, CA's chief technology architect and head of technology strategy, will fill that spot. CA, based in Islandia, New York, also plans to continue working with Ingres Corp. on marketing, development and industry partnerships.

Garnett & Helfrich Capital, which has headquarters in Menlo Park, California, was formed last year and now has a fund of US$350 million with which to invest in midsize technology spin-off ventures. In April it spent US$35 million for a controlling stake in thin-client device and technology maker Wyse Technology.

Garnett & Helfrich Capital Managing Director Terry Garnett will serve as interim CEO and chairman of Ingres. "Our goal is to become the leading business open-source database supplier to the enterprise community," Garnett said in a written statement.

The enterprise RDBMS (relational database management systems) market is a crowded one. Oracle, IBM and Microsoft hold a commanding 85 percent combined market share, according to research firm IDC. Among open-source products, MySQL is the most prominent, with PostgreSQL nipping at its heels. MySQL received a shock last month when Oracle scooped up Innnobase OY, a key MySQL partner that developed a critical add-on storage engine for the database.

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