Reuters to acquire text search firm ClearForest

Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:00am EDT

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By Eric Auchard

SAN FRANCISCO, April 30 (Reuters) - News and information supplier Reuters Group Plc RTR.L said on Monday the company would acquire ClearForest Ltd., a maker of software used to search vast archives of news, Web pages and documents for relevant facts.

The deal calls for Reuters to buy all of the outstanding shares of the privately held Israeli-American company. Terms were not disclosed.

ClearForest is a provider of text analytics software, which is used to "tag," or categorize, unstructured information to extract facts about people, organizations, places or other details from news articles, Web pages and other documents.

"This acquisition helps us to put in context our vast amount of content and to deliver more relevant information," said Gerry Campbell, who last year was named to head up the new search and strategic development group of Reuters.

ClearForest's competitors include Autonomy Corp. AUTN.L and privately held firms such as Nstein and Inxight, a spinout from Xerox Corp.'s (XRX.N) Palo Alto Research Center.

ClearForest has received approval from its shareholders and the deal is expected to close in about 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions, Reuters said.

ClearForest, which is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts and conducts research and development in Or-Yehuda, Israel, near Tel Aviv, has about 30 employees.

Investors led by Greylock Partners include DB Capital Partners, Pitango Venture Capital, Walden Israel, Booz Allen Hamilton, HarbourVest Partners and JP Morgan Partners.

Reuters said it plans to keep the current management team in place, and retain its workforce, which is split between the United States and Israel. It will also support existing ClearForest products and customers, it said.

ClearForest has roughly 50 corporate customers, including Dow Chemical, Reuters, Elsevier Science and International Finance Corp., who use the software to cull through databases for business intelligence, Campbell said.

In a statement, Reuters said ClearForest is part of its drive to make search a pivotal element in how financial information is found and used. ClearForest gives Reuters access to the latest generation of search techniques, supplementing existing editorial coding approaches with auto-coding tools.

Campbell, who was formerly head of search for Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX.N) AOL LLC, will oversee the integration of ClearForest into Reuters broader search development effort.

((Editing by Braden Reddall; Telephone: +1 415 677 3919; E-mail: eric.auchard@reuters.com)) Keywords: REUTERS CLEARFOREST/

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