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Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Big layoffs follow sale of Onyx

Seattle Times business reporter

Onyx Software has laid off a substantial number of its more than 250 employees in Bellevue following its acquisition by M2M Holdings this month.

Layoff notices went out Thursday, with cuts to research and development, sales and marketing, investor relations and other departments.

M2M acquired Onyx Software for $4.80 a share in cash, or about $92 million, in a deal that closed Aug. 2.

Onyx is now a business unit of Made2Manage Systems, a privately held enterprise-software and services company based in Indianapolis and backed by Battery Ventures and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners.

Made2Manage spokeswoman Melissa Stahley would not say how many were laid off but described the number as "fairly substantial," part of an overall restructuring aimed at making the company more profitable.

The restructuring includes closing Onyx's research-and-development department and moving that work to Bangalore, India, to lower costs, she said.

"We restructured Onyx for profitability and stability in order to align the company with the current status of the market," Stahley said.

Onyx, which makes customer-relationship-management software, is competing in a market where growth has slowed and the industry is consolidating, she added. As a result, the new Onyx will concentrate less on acquiring new customers and more on retaining the ones it has.

M2M may also look to acquire other CRM companies, Stahley said.

"Although there has been a restructuring to make the company profitable, we expect to see it continue to grow and add employees over time," she said.

M2M named Tom Millay as acting general manager, replacing Chief Executive Janice Anderson. She and Chief Financial Officer Robert Chamberlain left after the merger.

Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

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