The following article in this week’s Huntsville Times settled a matter that many thought had been settled long ago.
Intergraph Settles $200M suit with Bentley Systems
HUNTSVILLE, AL — An eight-year lawsuit between the former Intergraph Corp. and Pennsylvania-based software maker Bentley Systems has been settled for nearly $200 million, according to court documents.
The settlement is among the largest in Madison County history, court watchers said.
As part of a settlement agreed upon last month, Cobalt BSI Holding, which bought Intergraph in 2006, will sell back to Bentley its 15.6 million shares of Bentley stock, at a purchase price of just over $12 per share, totaling about $198 million, according to court documents. In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt for $2.1 billion.
The settlement total includes $9.9 million in fees and expenses awarded to Cobalt’s attorneys, including Bartley Loftin III of Huntsville and his firm, Maynard Cooper & Gale.
Intergraph sold its civil engineering products to Bentley in 2000 and the deal included proceeds from maintenance contracts.
In 2002 the companies began their long courtroom skirmish, with Intergraph challenging how much Bentley owed it from a promissory note and Bentley countersuing in connection with Intergraph’s handling of the maintenance contracts.
As part of the settlement, both sides agreed not to issue press releases about the agreement or otherwise publicly discuss the case, except to note the agreement was “consensually resolved.”
A settlement hearing before Circuit Judge Tom King, from Jefferson County, who gave preliminary approval to the deal in December, will be Feb. 10 at the Madison County Courthouse.
In July 2010, Sweden-based Hexagon AB bought Intergraph from Cobalt BSI Holding for $2.1 billion.
One question that arose among those of us who have followed Intergraph since the days when Bentley Systems was owned by Intergraph, is: does Intergraph still own 30 percent of Bentley Systems, and if so, how is Bentley affected by the recent news of this acquisition?
In an AECCafe Today blog, on July 13, 2010, Chris Barron, vice president of corporate marketing for Bentley, responded: ”As a privately held company, Bentley does not routinely report on the identity of its minority stockholders or the stockholders or the size of their holdings. However, in response to your question, we can advise you that the Bentley shares previously held by Intergraph were transferred to an affiliate of its private equity owners following its going private transaction in 2006 and we have no indications that those shares are part of the sale to Hexagon.”
Clearly much of what has gone on with Intergraph and Bentley has occurred under wraps and the two companies have agreed not to issue press releases or publicly discuss the case.