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Linux companies Mandrakesoft and Conectiva Announce Definitive Merger Agreement

Thursday February 24 2005

Paris, France; Curitiba, Brazil; February 24th , 2005 - Mandrakesoft, the number one European Linux company, today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Conectiva, the number one Linux company in Brazil and Latin America. This acquisition is expected to increase significantly Mandrakesoft's size and R&D capabilities.

Conectiva, founded in 1995, employs 60 people and has offices in Curitiba, São Paulo and Manaus, Brazil. The company had 1.7 million EUR (2.2 million USD) of revenues in their latest audited fiscal year, and reached break-even during the latest fiscal half-year. Conectiva has gained significant recognition for its adaptive approach to technology development for corporations, communities and large partners in the communication and technology sector in Latin America.

Providing Linux services for corporations since its inception, Conectiva has a wide range of projects including ATM and teller solutions for financial institutions, infrastructure for the government, and a complete range of Linux solutions sold through major retail stores in Brazil. Conectiva's technical achievements are also well known in the worldwide Linux community. Among them, the RPM port of apt-get (apt-rpm) and the new Smart Package Manager are just two examples of Conectiva's accomplishments. In this context, Conectiva has long been sought by larger technology and communication industry players to develop specialized solutions, including embedded devices.

Well-known customers include public sector and large accounts such as HSBC, Casas Bahia, IBM, HP, Siemens, White Martins-Praxair, Generali, and the Brazilian Army, Navy and Air Force. Examples of large deployments by Conectiva include 15,000 desktops and 800 servers in the São Paulo public schools. Conectiva also has a strong position in the training business, training more than 15,000 people each year through its network of partners throughout Brazil.

Mandrakesoft, founded in 1998, is the internationally recognized number one European Linux company. Mandrakesoft has built its business by designing and delivering user-friendly Linux products to both individuals and businesses, and has an estimated base of 6 to 8 million users. In its latest fiscal year, Mandrakesoft's revenues reached 5.18 million EUR (6.7 million USD) for a net income of 1.39 million EUR (1.8 million USD).

Mandrakesoft is also recognized as offering increasingly strong business solutions in both Europe and the USA. These solutions include server and desktop products for corporations, dedicated support, training, and online services such as Mandrakeclub and Mandrakeonline. Mandrakesoft's customers include such prestigious corporations as Carrefour, France Telecom, HP, Macif, Total, Verizon, and many government agencies including several French ministries.

Mandrakesoft is acquiring all shares of Conectiva for a total amount of 1.79 million EUR (2.3 million USD) in stock.

Both Mandrakesoft and Conectiva are profitable companies. The resulting corporation will benefit from several synergies by sharing development resources, commercial prospects and larger economies of scale, resulting in improved development potential for both companies.

"This merger is a great opportunity for Mandrakesoft and Conectiva. It is clear that it will strengthen us by creating commercial and technological value", said Jaques Rosenzvaig, CEO of Conectiva. "The merger also positions the resulting company as a leading worldwide provider of Linux."

"Combining the two businesses enables us to extend the scope of our offering and address more businesses by compounding development and commercial assets, resulting in strong synergies", added François Bancilhon, CEO of Mandrakesoft. "Mandrakesoft and Conectiva are dedicated to delivering innovative and quality products with a high level of personalized services to our customers. Our aggregated strengths will enhance extensive deployments, thus providing greater opportunity for continued expansion."

Conectiva's acquisition is in line with Mandrakesoft's strategy to expand through both organic and external growth. Besides the commercial potential to address the Latin American market, the choice of Conectiva was strongly based on the cultural fit which exists between the two companies.

Mandrakesoft and Conectiva are both founding Members of the Linux Core Consortium (LCC), which has recently started development of a common implementation of the Linux Standard Base. The combined companies will build their next corporate releases on top of the LCC implementation.

Conference call for press:

Mandrakesoft will host a conference call to cover the event on Thursday, 24 February 2005. To participate, please check the URL below: https://mandriva.com/company/press/event

About Conectiva

The company was founded in 1995 and is the pioneer in the distribution of Linux and Open Source in Portuguese, Spanish and English for all of Latin America. Besides customized Linux distributions for the Latin American market, Conectiva develops a series of products and additional services directed at the market demand for Open Source Tools, consulting services, training and technical support, including books and manuals. The company is also sought after its highly regarded OEM programs, application ports and training kits.


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Pimenta Comunicação
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About Mandrakesoft

Mandrakesoft is the publisher of the popular Mandrakelinux operating system, one of the most full-featured and easy to use Linux systems available. The company offers its enterprise, government and educational customers a complete range of GNU/Linux and Open Source software and related services. Mandrakesoft products are available in more than 120 countries through dedicated channels and also from Mandrakestore.com, the company's online store. Number 1 in several countries, Mandrakesoft has won many awards for quality and technical innovation. "Born on the Internet" in late 1998, Mandrakesoft has offices in the United States and France. Mandrakesoft is traded on Paris Euronext Marché Libre (ISIN Code: FR0004159382/MLMAN; Reuters code: MAKE.PA) and the US OTC market (stock symbol MDKFF).

Press enquiries:
Gaël Duval
press at mandrakesoft dot com
+33-1 40 41 00 41