Scottsdale, Ariz. (Nov. 18, 2003) -- The merger of international software companies Softline Ltd. and Sage plc has been finalized, but there's still no indication of how it will impact the companies' North American operations, according to executives of those operations attending the Information Technology Alliance conference here.

Taylor Macdonald, channel strategies vice president for Best Software, owned by Sage, and Brian Austin, communications manager for Softline's AccountMate and BusinessVision units, both confirmed that England-based Sage's offer to buy  Softline, based in South Africa  has gotten final approval from all required regulators.  However, Macdonald said he had nothing new to offer about the North American implications beyond Sage's earlier comments that Softline's operations in Europe and South Africa, were the driving factors in its decision to buy.

Austin said that Murray Aston, chief executive of AccountMate and BusinessVision,  plans to meet with Best chief executive Ron Verni sometime this week.

Softline's U.S. operations have remained very active  while the merger has been pending. BusinessVision's strategic alliances manager, Laureen Ryan, expressed confidence that BusinessVision and AccountMate will prosper as part of Best.

-- John M. Covaleski

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