Micro Focus

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Micro Focus International plc
TypePublic limited company
IndustryInformation technology
Founded1976; 45 years ago (1976)
Key people
  • Greg Lock
  • Stephen Murdoch
ProductsEnterprise application integration and management software
ServicesIT consulting
RevenueDecrease US$3,001.0 million (2020)[1]
Decrease US$350.2 million (2020)[1]
Decrease US$(2,969.5) million (2020)[1]
Number of employees
12,000 (2021)[2]

Micro Focus International plc is a British multinational software and information technology business based in Newbury, Berkshire, England. The firm provides software and consultancy. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


Micro Focus
The Micro Focus logo circa 1985.

The company was founded in 1976.[3] In 1981, it became the first company to win the Queen's Award for Industry purely for developing a software product. The product was CIS COBOL, a standard-compliant COBOL implementation for microcomputers.[4]

In 1998, the company acquired Intersolv Inc, an applications enablement business, for US$534 million[5] and the combined business was renamed Merant.[3] The same year the company acquired XDB Systems with their XDB Enterprise Server relational database management system.[6] In 2001 the business was demerged from Merant with help from Golden Gate Capital Partners and once again became Micro Focus.[7] It was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.[8]

In May 2007, San Diego-based Acucorp, Inc., a developer of COBOL development tools and provider of innovative technologies for the modernization and enhancement of business-critical COBOL applications, was acquired by Micro Focus for its ACUCOBOL-GT® product lines.[9][10][11]

In June 2008, the company acquired the Israeli NASDAQ listed software company NetManage for US$73.3 million.[12]

In July 2008, the company acquired the privately held Austin, Texas-based Liant Software Corporation for its RM/COBOL and PL/I product lines. Liant Software owned the assets of Ryan-McFarland Corporation, a Micro Focus competitor in the 1980s.[13]

In July 2009, the company acquired Borland, a developer of application lifecycle management tools, as well as the Quality Solutions part of Compuware, including the automation tool TestPartner.[14]

In 2011, the company alleged that the New South Wales Police Force and other agencies were using 16,500 copies of its ViewNow software on various computers when police and other agencies were only ever entitled to 6,500 licences. The group initially alleged A$10 million in damages but later increased this to A$12 million after reviewing the results of a court-ordered audit of the police force's computer systems. The police force maintained during the court proceedings that it had paid for a site licence that entitled it to unlimited installations of the software for all of its officers. Despite this, it settled the matter out of court in 2012, for an undisclosed sum. The other agencies previously settled the matter out of court, also for undisclosed sums.[15]

In December 2013, Micro Focus acquired the Orbix, Orbacus and Artix software product lines from Progress Software. These market-leading implementations of the CORBA standard were originally developed by IONA Technologies.[16]

A Micro Focus office in the United States, formerly headquarters for Novell

On 15 September 2014, Micro Focus announced that it would acquire The Attachmate Group for US$1.2 billion in shares, which would give it ownership of the Attachmate, NetIQ, Novell, and SUSE product lines. Attachmate's parent company Wizard Parent LLC—consisting of the investment groups Elliott Management Corporation, Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital, and Thoma Bravo, would hold a 40% stake in Micro Focus post-acquisition.[17][18]

In 2015, Micro Focus acquired Authasas, which produces authentication middleware.[19]

On 22 March 2016, Micro Focus announced its intent to acquire Serena Software, then valued at US$540 million.[20] The acquisition was completed on 2 May 2016.[21]

A Micro Focus exhibitor booth at a 2017 conference in Australia

On 7 September 2016, Micro Focus announced its intent to merge with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business segment.[22][23] The merger was completed on 1 September 2017.[24]

On 4 October 2016, Micro Focus announced it had acquired Gwava Inc., an enterprise information archiving business.[25]

On 19 March 2018, Micro Focus shares fell 55% to 849p after the company warned of a sharp fall in revenue; its chief executive, Chris Hsu, resigned.[26]

On 2 July 2018, it was announced that Micro Focus would sell its SUSE business segment to EQT Partners for $2.535 billion.[27][28]

In July 2020, Micro Focus acquired Turkish cybersecurity company ATAR Labs for an undisclosed amount.[29]

Acucorp, Inc.[edit]

Acucorp was founded in 1988 by sister and brother, Pamela, CEO, and Drake Coker, Chief Scientist. Drake wrote a file system, Vision, and a COBOL compiler, ACUCOBOL-85, now called ACUCOBOL-GT.[30][31][32][33] ACUCOBOL-GT offers a comprehensive set of extensions for programming and managing Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs). With these extensions, an ACUCOBOL-GT developer can add a full-featured GUI entirely in COBOL to an existing program.[34]

Liant Software Corporation[edit]

Liant Software Corporation was founded in 1983.[35] This company was an outgrowth of the 3-way partnership named Digitek and a successor named Ryan-McFarland Corporation, which was sold to an Australian company named Austec. They sold it to a company named Language Processors, Inc - later renamed Liant Software Corporation. The latter was acquired by Micro Focus International.[13] Liant was still advertising its Open PL/I product in 1995.[36]

Ryan-McFarland Corporation[edit]

Dave McFarland and Don Ryan, both with a Digitek background, co-founded Ryan-McFarland Corporation.[37] Ryan-McFarland was a major source for FORTRAN, COBOL and BASIC in the PC arena.[38][39][40]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Report 2020" (PDF). Micro Focus International plc. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  2. ^ "About us". Micro Focus. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Micro Focus: History". Archived from the original on 12 September 2008.
  4. ^ "Software industry receives royal treatment". New Scientist. 90 (1251): 289. 30 April 1981. ISSN 0262-4079.
  5. ^ "FindArticles.com - CBSi".
  6. ^ Aggarwal, Vinod (2001). Winning in Asia, European Style: Market and Nonmarket Strategies for Success. New York: Palgrave. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-349-63239-8.
  7. ^ "City & Corporate: FD wins Micro Focus equity listing bid - PR Week". brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  8. ^ Dominic Elliott. "Micro Focus IPO scrapes home after price cut". efinancialnews.com. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Micro Focus acquires Acucorp". 3000 NewsWire. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  10. ^ "Micro Focus Acquires Acucorp". Software Equity Group. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Acucorp Acquired By Micro Focus - socaltech.com". www.socaltech.com. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Micro Focus completes acquisition of NetManage, Inc". Reuters. 18 June 2008. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  13. ^ a b "Micro Focus buys Liant, PL/I, modernization capabilities picked up". InfoWorld. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Micro Focus buys Borland Software for $75 million". InfoWorld. 6 May 2009.
  15. ^ "NSW hit with $1.8m legal bill after piracy case". SMH. 26 April 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  16. ^ "Micro Focus International plc - Acquisition of Orbix, Artix and Orbacus software product lines for $15m". Micro Focus International plc. 24 December 2012. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013.
  17. ^ "Micro Focus to Buy Attachmate in $1.2 Billion Share Deal". Bloomberg. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  18. ^ "Micro Focus to Buy Attachmate in $1.2 Billion Deal". The Wall Street Journal. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  19. ^ "International acquisition of Authasas strengthens security cluster in West Holland". InnovationQuarter. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Micro Focus International plc - Micro Focus Announces Intent to Acquire Serena Software, Inc". Micro Focus International plc. 22 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Micro Focus Completes Acquisition of Serena Software, Inc". Micro Focus International plc. 2 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Micro Focus shares lifted by surprise first-half revenue rise". Reuters. 14 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Micro Focus Announces Intent to Merge with Hewlett Packard Enterprise's Software Business Segment". Micro Focus International plc. 7 September 2016.
  24. ^ "Micro Focus Completes Merger with HPE Software Business, Creating One of World's Largest Pure-play Software Companies". Micro Focus International plc. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Micro Focus Acquires GWAVA, Inc". PR Newswire. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  26. ^ "UK tech giant Micro Focus halves in value as shares crash". BBC News. 19 March 2018.
  27. ^ Burton, Graham (2 July 2018). "Micro Focus to sell SUSE Linux to private equity firm for US$2.5bn". Computing. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  28. ^ "Proposed sale of the SUSE Business". otp.investis.com. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  29. ^ "Micro Focus buys Istanbul-based ATAR Labs to expand its enterprise security services". Tech.eu. Retrieved 14 July 2020.
  30. ^ "Drake Coker, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder, Acucorp, Inc". spoke.com. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  31. ^ Radding, Alan (29 July 1996). Computerworld. International Data Group. John Amato.
  32. ^ "Stellar Women". Stellar International Networks. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  33. ^ "Acucorp Company Profile: Acquisition & Investors | PitchBook". pitchbook.com. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  34. ^ "Micro Focus Documentation". www.microfocus.com. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  35. ^ "Liant Software Corp". Liant Software Corp was founded in 1983.
  36. ^ "Open PL/I". Information Week. 29 May 1995. p. 77.
  37. ^ "code comments archive". Don Ryan went on with Dave McFarland, also from Digitek, to found Ryan-McFarland
  38. ^ A. Marani (1990). "Ryan-McFarland and Microsoft". Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling. 30: 96–97. doi:10.1021/ci00065a600. Two FORTRAN Compilers for Microcomputers: Ryan-McFarland and Microsoft ...
  39. ^ "RM Cobol, Fortran". InfoWorld. 12 October 1987. Similarly, for the past 20 years Ryan-McFarland Corp. has offered its customers standard Cobol and Fortran compilers and tools.
  40. ^ TRS-80 Manual: Compiler BASIC. 1981.