2016 TOP STORIES: Competitor acquires Interactive for $1.4B

Interactive Intelligence Inc. reached a deal in August to be acquired by an industry rival for $1.4 billion, marking Indiana’s second-largest technology acquisition.

California-based Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories Inc. said it would acquire the Indianapolis-based call-center-software company for $60.50 a share, a 36 percent premium over Interactive’s closing stock price before news of the deal leaked.

The deal closed Dec. 1, fusing Interactive’s 2,300 employees with Genesys’ 2,800. Nearly half of Interactive’s workers–about 1,100 people—are based in Indianapolis, and Genesys said it planned to maintain that footprint here.

The exit, which is topped only by ExactTarget’s $2.5 billion sale to Salesforce.com, is expected to benefit the local technology ecosystem. Interactive employees are set to ring up more than $100 million in gains on stock options and restricted stock, according to public filings, and observers expect some of that money to be reinvested in local startups.

Even those without meaningful windfalls might opt to part ways and invest their skills in younger companies.

The single-biggest stakeholder in Interactive was its founder, president, chairman and CEO Don Brown, who owned 17 percent of its shares. After a 22-year run at the helm, he walked away with an estimated $234 million.

Brown is already busy at work with another startup—a biotechnology company called LifeOmic Inc. With five employees and $20 million in financing so far, LifeOmic plans to provide medical professionals and health care systems with a “secure cloud-based solution for long-term storage, analysis, and clinical use of genomic and other digital information increasingly central to patient care.”

Brown also donated $30 million to the Indiana University School of Medicine to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy.

In another 2016 tech deal, Indianapolis-based Appirio, a cloud consultancy, sold to India-based Wipro for $500 million.•

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