“This merger unites two successful companies that emphasize strong customer support, innovation using proven technologies, and highly talented people,” said Jay Stead, president and CEO of the combined firm. “By pooling Sagebrush and Winnebago talent, we will accelerate the pace of innovation in our industry, including new ideas for exploiting the Internet. Stepped-up innovation will allow our customers to deliver educational services more broadly, effectively, and conveniently than ever before.”
Stead stressed that customers and others can expect continuity following the merger. In the library automation market, Sagebrush Corp. will continue to offer all of the products that were sold separately by Winnebago and Sagebrush, and each group of sales representatives 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 Winnebago and Sagebrush products will continue to be fully supported.
According to the announcement, customers can 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 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.
The company plans to keep all current Sagebrush and Winnebago facilities. Sagebrush locations are in Burnsville, Minnesota; Austin, Texas; Topeka, Kansas; and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Winnebago locations are in Caledonia, Minnesota, and Onalaska (LaCrosse), Wisconsin. All contracts with partners and suppliers will continue to be honored.
Winnebago Software founder and CEO Jeb Griffith said he will leave the company following the merger to pursue other professional and personal interests. “I’m confident Winnebago has a strong, secure future,” he said. “From the time Jay approached me about a merger through the due-diligence period, I became convinced that combining our companies would be good for both. After 20 years with Winnebago, I leave with some feelings of sadness, but mainly with pride in what we’ve achieved together and excitement about the combined company’s future.”
Stead said: “Jeb Griffith built a sterling reputation for Winnebago Software. It’s gratifying that he feels comfortable entrusting that legacy to me and our combined management team drawn from Winnebago and Sagebrush.”
Winnebago Software Co., a pioneer in the development of library automation software, serves more than 26,000 library professionals in more than 70 countries worldwide with library management and Internet products and programs for Windows, Mac OS, and MS-DOS, including the Winnebago Spectrum system. Through its representatives and employees, Winnebago (http://www.winnebago.com) has become the second-largest player in the market for library automation software, according to the announcement.
Source: Sagebrush Corp., Burnsville, MN, 888/753-7243, 512/890-5484; http://www.sagebrush-corp.com.
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