Witness Systems Launches Cash Offer for Eyretel

Witness Systems has reached an agreement with Eyretel, a U.K.-based provider of compliance and recording solutions for customer contact centers, on the terms of a recommended cash offer for all of the shares of Eyretel.

The acquisition would extend Witness Systems' leadership in the global contact center performance optimization market, offering customers a comprehensive range of software and services.

According to technology market research from Datamonitor, the combined company would become the market share leader in the global contact center recording market, including both quality and compliance, which represented nearly half of the broader workforce optimization market in 2001. Witness Systems also provides applications for the contact center e-learning management and performance analysis segments, which represented a further 22 percent of the workforce optimization market. With the complementary nature of its product sets, the combined company will have broad cross-sell opportunities.

"Our acquisition of Eyretel combines two of the most significant application providers in the contact center market, offering our customers a truly global partner. As one company, we will work closely to develop the workforce optimization market and bring solutions to market faster," said Dave Gould, CEO and chairman of Witness Systems. "Eyretel has built an international leadership position in contact center recording and a strong management team. We believe Eyretel is an excellent strategic fit and will significantly strengthen our global customer base, extend our application suite, and expand our partner network and distribution channels around the world."

The acquisition has been recommended by the board of directors of Eyretel and is subject to the successful closing of the offer and to customary conditions, including regulatory and other standard approvals. The acquisition is expected to be completed in March or April of 2003, and the company does not expect that it will be dilutive to core 2003 earnings.

Eyretel management and employees will be valuable additions to Witness Systems. Nicholas Discombe, CEO of Eyretel, has agreed to become president and chief operating officer of the combined organization.

"Witness Systems was early to recognize the opportunity to deliver a suite of applications for contact center performance improvement, and its vision has been borne out by the current direction of the market towards workforce optimization," said Discombe. "Eyretel offers a strong international organization to distribute and support our product line," added Gould. "The acquisition provides a significant opportunity for Eyretel's customers to deploy applications in our expanded software suite, such as e-learning management and performance analysis. In addition, the combined operations will benefit from Eyretel's product and services competency in compliance recording."

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