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Attachmate Corporation
Fate Acquired by The Attachmate Group (April 18, 2005)
Founded Bellevue, Washington, United States (1981)
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, United States
Area served
Key people
  • Terminal emulator software
  • Interoperability software
  • Security software
Revenue US$ 400 million
Parent Micro Focus International

Attachmate Corporation is a software company which focuses on secure terminal emulation, legacy integration, and managed file transfer software. It is a subsidiary of the British software company Micro Focus International.


Attachmate Corporation[edit]

Attachmate, founded in 1982 by Frank W. Pritt and Julia Pritt focused initially on the IBM terminal emulation market, and became a major technology employer in the Seattle area. Based in Bellevue, Washington, the company became one of the largest PC software companies in the world, with offices in more than 50 cities in North America and in 30 countries. The company made several acquisitions, through mergers and purchases, to expand its range of host access hardware and software solutions.

Attachmate served 80% of Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies, with over 13 million users worldwide. Attachmate's major development locations included their headquarters in Bellevue, an office in Bellingham, Washington, and a facility in Cincinnati, Ohio. In the early days, Attachmate focused on 3270 emulation for PCs with some hardware 3270 boards as well. Attachmate invested heavily in its sales and marketing organization worldwide in the early 1990s and quickly grew its market share from 3rd in the host-connectivity market to 1st with its EXTRA! Personal Client product. The company continued to grow organically as well as through acquisition of KEA Systems (makers of KEAterm VT340 and VT420 terminal emulators, and KEA X x terminal software), and DCA (makers of IRMA line of emulators, INFOconnect, Crosstalk communications software, and OpenMind collaborative software). Later, the company also acquired The Wollongong Group (makers of Pathway TCP and Emissary).

After the acquisition of DCA, the company quickly dominated the 3270, 5250 and VT marketplace, and built its revenues in excess of $400 million in 1995 - as compared to roughly $40M just five years earlier. A Senior Management transition led by incoming CEO Jim Lindner made an attempt to create a unified product strategy and take the company public. The strategy received positive reviews from customers and the press initially but eventually stalled as a clash between Pre and Post DCA-merger management destabilized product development and Frank Pritt took back the helm in July 1996.[1][2]

Bill Boisvert, formerly of Paccar, was the next president from January 1998[3] until his resignation in October 2000 after a year of layoffs and flat revenues.[4]

The next stage of its history was marked by tight fiscal management and managing to the bottom line. As revenues were impacted through the bursting tech bubble after 2001, Attachmate was hit with successive rounds of layoffs. In 2001, the Burnaby development center was closed; in June 2002 the Cincinnati development center was closed and the company's VP of Development was fired.[5]

On April 18, 2005, it was announced that three investment companies, Golden Gate Capital, Francisco Partners, and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners, would buy Attachmate. Attachmate would be merged with long-time competitor WRQ, whom the investors had bought previously.[6]

Attachmate no longer sells or supports 3270 IRMA, SDLC, or ISCA SDLC hardware adapters, or provides driver downloads. In February 2007, they sold their remaining hardware inventory to Alpine Computer Systems, a legacy equipment reseller, and refers customers to them for sales and service on hardware adapters and drivers.

WRQ, Inc.[edit]

In 1981, Doug Walker, Mike Richer and Marty Quinn founded Walker, Richer & Quinn (WRQ) to integrate microcomputers with existing IT environments. The company set its sights on the Hewlett-Packard market, launching the first commercially viable terminal emulator for the HP 3000. Based in Seattle, Washington, WRQ was one of the 20 largest software companies, and consistently ranked in Fortune magazine’s “100 Best companies to Work for in America,” and Washington CEO magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For.”[when?]. Two companies, Express Metrix and NetMotion Wireless, were spun off by WRQ in 2000 and 2001, respectively, and are operating successfully today.

On 6 December 6, 2004 it was announced that WRQ had been purchased by an investment group consisting of Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners.

Attachmate and WRQ merger[edit]

The same investment group proceeded to buy Attachmate as well. The agreement for the sale was made on 18 April 2005.[7] WRQ and Attachmate had been long-time competitors in the host emulation business when it was announced that the companies would be merged. The merger was completed on 3 October 2005 and the new company was named AttachmateWRQ.[8]

In June 2005, shortly after the merger was made official, AttachmateWRQ announced that its corporate headquarters would be located in WRQ's Seattle, Washington location. The vacated headquarters of Attachmate in the Factoria neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington were quickly filled by T-Mobile, who already occupied part of the building.

The company continued to support both Attachmate and WRQ product sets (which overlap in many cases) until products could be merged or replaced.

NetIQ acquisition[edit]

NetIQ, founded in 1995 by Ching-Fa Hwang, Her-daw Che, Hon Wong, Ken Prayoon Cheng and Thomas R. Kemp, was a company that provided systems management and security management software. It provided businesses worldwide with solutions to monitor, analyze, and optimize the performance, availability, and security of IT infrastructure. Its flagship products included AppManager and Security Manager. The company headquarters were in San Jose, California, with about 900 employees worldwide. Their Nasdaq ticker symbol was NTIQ.

NetIQ's toolset included systems, security, VoIP and Administration software.

On April 27, 2006, AttachmateWRQ announced an agreement to acquire NetIQ for about 495 million USD, and that the deal would close in 90 days.[9] NetIQ would be merged into AttachmateWRQ, creating a single company with $400 million annual revenue and over 40,000 customers in 60 countries. On June 20, they announced that NetIQ shareholders had approved this purchase, and the acquisition would be complete by the end of that month.[10]

On July 5, 2006, both companies released a press release announcing the closing of the deal. The new company would do business under the name Attachmate Corporation.[11]

OnDemand acquisition and sale[edit]

On March 7, 2006, AttachmateWRQ announced that they had acquired OnDemand Software.[12] OnDemand Software develops an award-winning product called WinINSTALL, which is for desktop management in IT environments. This product is similar to AttachmateWRQ's existing NetWizard product.

On June 30, 2008, Scalable Software announced in a press release that they had acquired the WinINSTALL business unit (substantially all assets of the former OnDemand) from Attachmate.[13]

Novell acquisition[edit]

Novell announced in November 2010 that it had agreed to be acquired by Attachmate for $2.2 billion.

On April 27, 2011, The Attachmate Group announced the completion of the acquisition of Novell, Inc., a leader in intelligent workload management, under the terms of the definitive agreement disclosed on November 22, 2010.[14]

On May 2, 2011, immediately following the sale, Attachmate laid off hundreds of Novell employees.[15]

Novell now operates as two separate business units under the Novell and SUSE brand names and joins Attachmate and NetIQ as holdings of The Attachmate Group. Certain intellectual property assets are planned to be sold to CPTN Holdings, a consortium of companies led by Microsoft.[16]

Acquisition by Micro Focus[edit]

On 15 September 2014, the British firm Micro Focus International announced that it would acquire the Attachmate Group for US$1.2 billion in shares.[17][18]


  1. ^ Haines, Thomas W. (July 23, 1996), Attachmate Reaches Back To Meet Net Challenge, Seattle Times, retrieved 2009-03-24 
  2. ^ Baker, M. Sharon (November 1, 1996), Pritt steps in at Attachmate, Puget Sound Business Journal 
  3. ^ "Attachmate Names CFO Boisvert To President Post", The Seattle Times, January 21, 1998, retrieved 2009-03-24 
  4. ^ Meisner, Jeff (February 5, 2001), Attachmate Names CFO Boisvert To President Post, Puget Sound Business Journal, retrieved 2009-03-24 
  5. ^ Seattle High-Tech Layoff Tracker: Attachmate, Seattle P-I, June 28, 2002, retrieved 2009-03-24 [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Dudley, Brier (March 18, 2005), WRQ, Attachmate to merge; job cuts possible, Seattle Times, retrieved 2009-03-24 
  7. ^ "Attachmate Announces Agreement to Sell the Company to Investment Group". Attachmate. 18 April 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Attachmate and WRQ Merger Closes: AttachmateWRQ Outlines Strategic Plans". Attachmate. 3 October 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2013. 
  9. ^ NetIQ Acquisition Press Release, Attachmate, April 27, 2006 
  10. ^ NetIQ Shareholder Approval Press Release, Attachmate, June 20, 2006 
  11. ^ NetIQ Acquisition Completion Press Release, Attachmate, July 5, 2006 
  12. ^ OnDemand Acquisition Press Release, Attachmate, March 7, 2006, archived from the original on June 16, 2006 
  13. ^ Scalable Software WinINSTALL Press Release (PDF) [permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "The Attachmate Group Completes Acquisition of Novell". Attachmate. April 27, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Hundreds laid off at Novell in Provo". Daily Herald. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ Novell agrees to be bought in $2.2b deal, Boston Updates, November 22, 2010, retrieved 2010-11-22 
  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. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°37′58″N 122°20′32″W / 47.632639°N 122.342168°W / 47.632639; -122.342168