Q: What is being announced?
A: Sagebrush Corporation (Burnsville, MN) and Winnebago Software Company (Caledonia, MN), two leaders in K- 12 information management solutions, announced that they have completed a merger of their companies. Both are privately held firms.
Jeb Griffith, founder and CEO of Winnebago Software, announced that he will leave the firm to pursue other professional and personal interests, now that Winnebago's future is secure.
Q: What will lb. combined company be?
A: The combined company will operate under the Sagebrush Corporation name, with headquarters in Burnsville, MN. With over 600 employees (330 Sagebrush, 270 Winnebago) and annual revenues exceeding $75 -million, Sagebrush Corporation will be the largest, fastest-growing firm dedicated to the market for K- 12 information management solutions — a category that includes library automation systems, quality-bound books, cataloging services, Internet learning solutions, and other educational resources.
Q: What is th, rationale for the merger?
A: The merger unites two successful companies that both emphasize strong customer support, innovation using proven technologies, and highly talented people — our employees and independent reps. By pooling Sagebrush and Winnebago talent, we will accelerate the pace of innovation in our industry, induding new ideas for exploiting the Internet. Stepped-tip innovation will allow our customers to deliver educational services more broadly, effectively, and conveniently than ever before.
Q: Who will run the combined company?
A: The President and CEO will be Jay Stead of Sagebrush. He will lead a management team drawn from both Sagebrush and Winnebago.
Q: What products will the combined company sell?
A: In the library automation market, Sagebrush Corporation will continue to offer all of the products that were sold separately by Winnebago and Sagebrush, and each group of sales reps will continue selling the products it has been selling. The popular Winnebago Spectrum product and Sagebrush's rapidly growing Athena product will continue to be sold, and prior-generation products from both firms will continue to be hilly supported. Each of these products offers distinct features and user interfaces.
Customers an also expect the same high level of service, as well as industry-leading product innovation, in the company's other businesses: Sagebrush Learning Resources, which provides K- 12 schools and libraries with quality-bound books, reading program software, and other educational materials through Econo-Clad Books and American Library Publishers; and Sagebrush Library Services, which serves publishers and distributors with quality MARC records, processing, and a comprehensive list of cataloging solutions.
Q: Will there be layoffs?
A: The Sagebrush and Winnebago world forces are being kept largely intact: the opportunity to combine the talents of both employee groups was one of the main driving forces for the merger. A small number of jobs in each company have been eliminated due to restructuring. These individuals have already been notified.
Q: Will company locations be kept?
A: Yes, the plan is to keep all current Sagebrush and Winnebago locations. Sagebrush offices are in Burnsville (Minneapolis), Minnesota; Austin, Texas; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and Topeka, Kansas. Winnebago locations are in Caledonia, Minnesota; and Onalaska (LaCrosse), Wisconsin.
Q: What products will independent reps for Winnebago and Sagebrush sell?
A: Each group of sales reps will continue selling the products it has been selling.
Q: Why do you believe the merger will succeed?
A: Sagebrush and Winnebago share a remarkably similar vision based on making our customers' lives easier:
- We both place heavy emphasis on after-sale customer support.
- We both are known for leading-edge innovation using proven technologies, inducing Internet solutions.
- We both firmly believe that our biggest long-term competitive advantage is our people, meaning our employees and independent reps.
A: Yes. All contracts now in force will continue to be honored.
Q: Is this a merger or an acquisition?
A: It is a merger in the sense that both companies are being combined. Technically, Sagebrush is acquiring Winnebago.