Kurt Peters , Executive Editor
Deal Solidifies Market Leadership in Collaborative Design and Development Solutions
San Francisco, CA, August 16, 2001- Freeborders, a leading provider of Collaborative Product Management™ (CPM) solutions for the global retail industry, today announced the acquisition of Karat Software Corporation™, a leader of interactive product development management (iPDM™) solutions headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Serving more than 50 companies, Karat customers include the Gap, Target, Ann Taylor, Coach, Williams-Sonoma, Eddie Bauer, Woolrich, Gymboree, J. Crew, Saks, and Levi Strauss & Co. The combined industry expertise, technology, and shared dedication to service provide customers of both companies with a “best of class” solution. In addition, the deal gives Freeborders a dominant share of the design and development solutions market for leading retailers. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquisition of Karat’s product design and development software augments Freeborders’ CPM solution, delivering applications that improve speed to market and quality for all segments of the apparel supply chain. “We recognize the importance of design as the gateway to the product life cycle,” said Ramsey Walker, CEO of Freeborders. “The acquisition of Karat strengthens our design solutions offering and broadens our customer relationships.”
The Karat acquisition comes less than eight months after the purchase of Applied Intranet Technologies (Ai), then the industry’s second largest provider of collaborative product design and development applications. The impact of that deal has already shown positive results.
Freeborders, headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Europe, Mexico, and Asia, provides a Web-based collaborative software solution that addresses inefficiencies in the global retail supply chain. The combination of proprietary software and services optimizes the profits of buyers and sellers from “design-to-delivery™”. Bottom-line benefits are realized through reduction of inventory costs, operating expenses, and time to market, resulting in increased revenue. Freeborders’ solutions are used by over 250 customers in 26 countries including Liz Claiborne (NYSE: LIZ), Levi Strauss & Co., Nike (NYSE: NKE), L.L.Bean, Lands’ End (NYSE: LE) and Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS). For additional information, please visit www.freeborders.com.
Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Karat Software Corporation™ is a leader of interactive product development management (iPDM™) solutions that facilitate global manufacturing and sourcing by enabling companies to speed new product development, dramatically compressing the time from concept to store shelves. Karat Software serves more than 50 customers worldwide in retailing and consumer product manufacturing including the Gap, Eddie Bauer, Ann Taylor, Coach, William Sonoma, Target, Woolrich, Marc Jacobs, Gymboree, J. Crew, Saks, and Levi Strauss& Co.