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Friday, December 13, 1996

Radish Communications Inc. sold

Camera Business Editor

Radish Communications Systems Inc., a software company started on a shoestring by a Boulder couple in 1990, is being bought for $39 million by SystemSoft Corp. of Natick, Mass.

The sale, announced Thursday, will combine technology pioneered by the two companies for troubleshooting and solving computer problems.

Radish is privately held and employs 51 people at its headquarters in Boulder's Flatiron Industrial Park.

"All of the employees of Radish will have the option of becoming SystemSoft employees and remaining in Boulder," said Tim Hurley, a SystemSoft spokesperson in Massachusetts.

Radish shareholders will receive 2.2 million shares of SystemSoft stock in the transaction. That translates to about $39 million at $17.75 cents a share. The stock is listed on the Nasdaq exchange as SYSF.

SystemSoft had revenues of $24.6 million in the fiscal year that ended last Jan. 31. Revenues for the current fiscal year are projected at $40 million and for next year at $96 million. The company has more than 180 employees at its headquarters and at offices in Santa Clara, Calif.; Oxnard, Calif.; Tokyo; and Taiwan.

Radish was started in 1990 by Theresa Szczurek and Richard A. Davis with money from the sale of his Porsche and his house. They operated the company in Szczurek's home for nine months and were married in 1991.

In 1992, Radish received $3 million from two venture capital firms: Hill, Carman, Kirby and Washing of Boulder and Fronte nac Co. of Chicago.

Now a multimillion-dollar company, Radish makes VoiceView software and hardware, which lets users integrate voice and data transmission over a single telephone line during the same connection. The technology is licensed to such corporations as AST Computer, Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Packard Bell and Sony to help customers solve problems in computer equipment.

SystemSoft makes a troubleshooting and configuration product called SystemWizard. Installed in computers, it helps identify and solve functional problems.

SystemSoft licenses its products to original equipment manufacturers, some of them the same companies that use Radish's products.

Spokesperson Hurley said Radish and SystemSoft will merge their complementary technology. Companies can use the installed problem-solving software of SystemWizard in combination with the VoiceView communication system.

The combined technologies will help computer and software companies reduce time spent giving their customers technical support, which costs billions of dollars a year, Hurley said. "You could see the merged product starting next year," he said.

David Klein, chief executive officer and president of Radish, will become senior vice president and general manager of a new SystemSoft subsidiary for development and sales of the combined technology. Klein will report to Robert F. Angelo, SystemSoft chairman and CEO.


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