Softchoice Corporation Acquires Optimus Solutions



    TORONTO, Jan. 2 /CNW/ - Softchoice Corporation (TSX: SO), announced today
that it is continuing the implementation of its U.S. growth strategy with the
acquisition of Optimus Solutions. Optimus Solutions is a comprehensive IT
products and solutions company focused on helping enterprise and mid-market
clients plan, build and maintain their information technology infrastructure
with headquarters in Norcross Georgia, and nine offices in the United States.
Today, Softchoice entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement and
expects that the acquisition will close this week, subject to normal closing
conditions.
    Under the terms of the agreement Softchoice is paying US$38.1 million in
cash to acquire the privately held company with a deferred payment of up to
US $9 million, payable during 2008 depending on the financial performance of
Optimus Solutions. On a trailing 12-month basis, Optimus Solutions generated
US$140 million in revenue. Approximately 40 percent of Optimus' revenue during
this period was derived from the enterprise market segment, 50 percent from
the mid-market segment and 10 percent from the public sector. Approximately
87 percent of this revenue is from hardware sales, 7 percent is attributable
to the sale of software, and the remainder from services. Optimus employs 100
people and services 1500 customers with no single customer representing more
than 12 percent of total revenues. Softchoice expects the transaction will be
accretive to earnings in 2008. Funding for the transaction was provided by a
loan from a Canadian chartered bank.
    The acquisition significantly enhances Softchoice's ability to provide
advanced hardware technology solutions and services, including
internetworking, server consolidation, and security solutions to U.S.
mid-market, enterprise and public sector organizations.
    
    Benefits from the transaction include the following:

        -  Completes Softchoice's market coverage by enabling the Company to
           deliver hardware solutions across all U.S. market segments;

        -  Extends Softchoice's Microsoft Enterprise Agreement expertise,
           virtual supply chain technology and TechCheck(TM) assessment
           services to Optimus Solutions' customer base;

        -  Broadens Softchoice's customer platform in the U.S. and supports
           the Company's overall strategic plan to grow its market share
           along three dimensions - (1) in both hardware and software sales;
           (2) in Canada and the U.S.; (3) and across the mid-market,
           enterprise and public sector segments.
    

    "Through our growth strategy we've extended the Softchoice platform
across all key product and market segments, creating a springboard for the
next phase of our growth," said David MacDonald, President and CEO of
Softchoice. "With the acquisition of Optimus Solutions, we now have the
ability to help customers address virtually every stage of the technology
lifecycle - from solution design, fulfillment and implementation through to
disposal. Looking ahead, our focus is on leveraging these assets to achieve
our goal of becoming one of the top five solutions providers in North America.
Through this process we look forward to enhancing the value we provide our
customers, creating growth opportunities for new and existing employees and
maximizing returns for our shareholders."
    Softchoice's success as a leading technology provider in Canada and to
the U.S. mid-market coupled with strategic investments in its high velocity
supply chain has laid the foundation for the current phase of the Company's
growth strategy. Since October 2007, Softchoice has leveraged selective
acquisitions to increase its reach in key market segments and enhance customer
value. On October 12th 2007, Softchoice acquired the Technology Solutions and
Professional Services divisions of NexInnovations, a Canadian-based enterprise
solutions provider. Two months later, on December 11th, Softchoice completed
the acquisition of Software Plus, the ninth largest Microsoft LAR in the U.S.
and a leading provider to enterprise and academic organizations. The
acquisition of Optimus Solutions complements these previous transactions in
terms of market focus and regional presence. Management believes the
transaction will strengthen Softchoice's ability to serve the hardware
technology requirements of U.S.-based enterprise and public sector
organizations while providing the opportunity to extend the Company's
expertise in IT assessments and software licensing to an entirely new set of
customers.
    "Optimus and Softchoice both bring distinct, industry-leading
capabilities to the mix," said Steve Johnson, President of Optimus Solutions,
who will become a Vice President of Softchoice. "As a value-based
organization, we have an intense focus on working closely with key partners
such as Cisco and IBM to deliver advanced IT solutions to U.S. businesses.
Combining this expertise with Softchoice's fulfillment engine, its standing as
a top Microsoft LAR and its geographic reach will give our people the
opportunity to augment our services expertise with a much more competitive set
of volume-based offerings. Ultimately this is about giving our customers and
our people the best of all worlds. "
    The management team is pleased to report that Steve Johnson will carry on
in his capacity as President of Optimus Solutions for a minimum of two years.

    Optimus Solutions Acquisition Conference Call

    Softchoice will be hosting an investor conference call to discuss the
acquisition of Optimus Solutions at 11 a.m. EST on January 3rd, 2008.
    David MacDonald, Softchoice's President and CEO, and Anne Brace,
Softchoice's Chief Financial Officer, will host the call. The call will begin
with a brief presentation followed by a question-and-answer session.

    To participate in the conference:

    Local/International: 416-642-5213

    North American Toll-Free: 1-866-321-8231

    To listen to the call and view the web presentation:
    http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/softchoice/010308/index.php

    To ensure participation, please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to the
start of the conference call at 11 a.m. EST.
    For those unable to attend the call, a link will be made available on the
Softchoice web site to an archived web and audio version on January 4th 2008.

    About Softchoice

    As one of North America's leading providers of technology solutions and
services, Softchoice helps businesses and organizations of all sizes to
select, acquire and manage their software and hardware technology resources.
Softchoice offers a full range of capabilities, including face-to-face
consultations and IT asset management services designed to help customers save
time, money and risk in IT procurement. In 2006, Softchoice was named Software
Value Added Reseller (VAR) of the Year by VAR Business magazine. Softchoice
currently has more than 800 employees operating from more than 40 branch
offices located in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.
    Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the
trading symbol "SO". The Common Shares of Softchoice are not registered under
the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United
States.

    About Optimus Solutions

    Optimus Solutions provides comprehensive IT solutions designed to
streamline and integrate business processes across the enterprise. Optimus
provides solutions that assist customers in integrating their business with
partners, suppliers, and customers. The Company does this through a
comprehensive range of integration and consulting services, as well as
hardware, software, and storage product offerings. Optimus is a Value Added
Reseller (VAR) for Cisco and IBM systems and software (System i, p, x, and
Storage).

    Forward-looking Statements

    This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks
and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements relate to, among other
things, plans and timing for the introduction and enhancement of our services,
and other expectations, intentions and plans contained in this press release
that are not historical fact. When used in this press release, the words
"anticipate," "expect" and similar expressions generally identify
forward-looking statements. These statements reflect our current expectations
and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties including, but not
limited to, our ability to integrate the business of Software Plus with our
own, including the ability to maintain its customers, the ability to eliminate
costs, and changes in technology and general market conditions, many of which
are set out or incorporated by reference in the Company's latest Annual
Information Form. Due to the many risks and uncertainties, Softchoice cannot
assure that the forward-looking statements contained in this press release
will be realized.





For further information:

For further information: Anne Brace, Chief Financial Officer, Softchoice
Corporation, (416) 588-9986, investor_relations@softchoice.com; Eric Gardiner,
Softchoice Corporation, (416) 588-9002 x2358, Contact Softchoice Corporate
Communications

Organization Profile

Softchoice Corporation

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