Los Angeles, Calif. (April 29, 2004) -- Datafaction, the first company purchased by the former Softline when it entered the North American accounting software market, has been sold back to its founder.

Sage, which acquired Softline last year, decided to sell Los Angeles-based Datafaction to its chief executive and former owner, Brian Kleinman, for an undisclosed amount. Softline bought Datafaction in January 1999 for what was described as in excess of 32 million South African rand, equal to at least $5.46 million when the deal was announced. The same deal would be worth about $4.6 million at current exchange rates.

Datafaction specializes in accounting for the entertainment industry and counts many high-profile customers among its clients. Datafaction’s Web site describes its products as the choice of CPAs, business managers, high-net-worth planners and production companies. It claims an installed 320,000 businesses and 4.9 million users.

In a prepared statement, Ron Verni, CEO of Best Software, the U.S. arm of Sage, said that, "Datafaction can now set its own course for future success in a very unique, specialized and profitable niche market, and Best Software can concentrate its efforts on serving the more traditional SMB marketplace."

Verni’s statements underscored the general industry view that Datafaction didn't fit among the general accounting packages. There was little public mention of the product line during its five years under Softline and Sage’s ownership.

Softline’s other North American acquisitions were BusinessVision for $13 million and AccountMate for $8.5 million, both purchased in 2000. Those two businesses remain part of Sage’s holdings.

-- Robert Scott

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