DataTeam Systems Inc., a Lawrence-based software company that provides financial administration products for school districts, is being sold to a Canadian company for nearly $5 million.
The sale, expected to close by the end of next week, will ensure that DataTeam and its core of programmers, support staff and sales personnel will remain in Lawrence, said Roger Haack, DataTeam's outgoing primary owner and CEO. The operation will remain at 4911 Legends Drive.
"The purpose of this is to grow this company," Haack said.
No more than two of DataTeam's 18 employees - plus Haack - will lose their jobs in the immediate transition to ownership by Constellation Software Inc., a Toronto-based company that plans to fold DataTeam into its N. Harris Computer Corp. subsidiary.
DataTeam is set to become the third established business to be added to Harris' lineup so far this year. The others: ACE Charter Services and ACE Software LLC, based in Columbus, Ohio; and Tenex Systems Inc., based in Philadelphia.
"They are incredibly competent," Haack said of Constellation and its Harris Computer subsidiary. "It'll be a very powerful synergy when it's done."
Constellation became a public company in May, after an initial public offering raised $80 million to compensate two of its major owners. The company's stated goal is to buy, manage and build software businesses that provide "mission-critical" solutions for customers in specific industries.
DataTeam fits that description in the market for school-administration software, where Constellation is acquiring companies with the intention of being a "great" operator, said Barry Symons, Constellation's chief financial officer.
DataTeam came to Lawrence in 1986 as WOS Data Systems, which had been founded in Colby by Rob Herrington and Marc Epard, who continue to live in Lawrence. WOS Data Systems soon merged with Farallon Computing in Berkeley, Calif., the company that later became Netopia.
DataTeam spun out of Farallon by 1990, and has been growing ever since, Herrington said. He expects the Lawrence operation to grow more now that it is backed by Constellation.
"They're two great companies that are getting together to grow the market segment," Herrington said.