Friedman Nabs CORESense as Constellation’s Umbrella Grows
September 25, 2012 Alex Woodie
Friedman, the IBM i-ERP software vendor owned by Constellation Software, has acquired CORESense, a developer of retail management and ecommerce software. Also, another Constellation subsidiary recently acquired IBM i software developer Wynne Systems.
CORESense is a Saratoga Springs, New York, company that develops a cloud-based ERP system called the Integrated Retail Management System that’s used by customers throughout North America, primarily among companies in the fashion and apparel, aftermarket automotive parts, and sporting goods businesses. The company’s software is written in PHP and runs on an open source stack, including Linux, Apache Web server, and MySQL database.
CORESense will continue to operate as a subsidiary of Friedman, the Deerfield, Illinois, company that has become the holding company for some of the acquisitions of its parent company, Constellation Software. Friedman CFO Eric Herrmann said: “The CORESense product offering will enable us to further grow our presence in the distribution, fulfillment, and retail management market sectors across specialized industries.”
It was the third acquisition for Friedman since we checked in with Constellation-Friedman activities over a year ago. Since then, Friedman has bought two other enterprise software companies, including: Markison, an Australian developer of ERP systems for wholesalers and retailers, with customers in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asia-Pacific region; and Logimax, a Jacksonville, Florida, developer of warehouse management systems (WMS) used in the North American trucking industry.
The acquisitions further add to Friedman, which Constellation purchased in May 1999. Other Friedman businesses include: Varsity Logistics, a San Francisco developer of IBM i shipping software that was acquired by Constellation in the fall of 2007; Computer Solutions Inc. (CSI), a Florida developer of order management and e-commerce applications for the IBM i platform; and Viewlocity Technologies, a Dallas, Texas-based developer of supply chain management software for IBM i and other platforms.
Constellation, which is based in Toronto, Ontario, has been on a good run lately. The publicly traded company has completed dozens of acquisitions across its six operating groups, which include three in the private sector (Friedman, Jonas, and Homebuilder) and three in the public sector (Volaris, Harris, and Emphasys.
Earlier this year, Constellation’s Volaris group acquired the assets of Wynne Systems, a developer of IBM i software for the rental equipment market. Wynne, which was owned by United Rentals, joins a conglomerate in Volaris that includes software for the agri-food, asset management and logistics, justice, and people transportation markets.
Fueled by acquisitions, Constellation’s stock has looked like a winner, with a steady rise since it went public in 2006. It’s appreciated 330 percent in the last five years, and is up 46 percent in the last 12 months. Over that time, the company’s revenue has increased steadily thanks to a steady stream of acquisitions, growing from about $330 million in 2008 to $777 million at the end of 2011. Net income has grown from about $15 million in 2008 to about $157 million last year, as the earnings per share increased from $.71 to $7.43. The company has spent $47 million on acquisitions this year, and with more than three months left, the smart money sees it making more.