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Corel buys Paint Shop Pro maker Jasc

Corel Corporation has bought Jasc Software, the publishers of the highly rated Paintshop Pro graphics software. The buy out strengthens Corel's already strong presence in the PC graphics market - particularly at the consumer end of the business which is seeing strong growth on the back of the booming digital camera business.

Corel says that it will be business as usual for the Jasc range. It will continue to sell Paint Shop Pro, Paint Shop Pro Studio and Paint Shop Photo Album as stand alone products and will provide worldwide service and support albeit now under the Corel brand. Corel as also promised to continue to develop the Paint Shop Pro range of products.

Amish Mehta will continue as CEO of Corel Corporation although the company says that several members of the Jasc senior management team will join Corel. No further details of the deal were made public.

The acquisition is a further sign that Corel is back on the road to recovery after a dreadful few years. The company made its name in the early 1990s with the highly acclaimed Corel Draw product and quickly established itself as a major force in the software market with a series of further acquisitions. However, many of these - such as Ventura Publisher and WordPerfect - were already has-been products by the time Corel got hold of them and despite its best efforts found itself unable to compete head to head with Microsoft.

Corel was bought by an American venture capital firm just over a year ago and has since made a return to profitability. However, whilst well established in its niche professional PC graphics sector, it need to find a sector that offered growth. The acquisition of Jasc, not only provides a perfect match for its existing portfolio, it also provides an entrance into one of the few software sectors experiencing major growth. The company quotes Infotrends as saying that the annual sales of digital cameras is expected to grow by 20 per cent a year to some 100 million units in 2008. According to Infotrends 55 per cent of those buyers will be looking for additional software to edit and manage their pictures.

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