Orange County Business Journal

Epicor HQ Shifting With New Leader?

TECHNOLOGY: Activant chief takes helm in wake of Apax buy Chris Casacchia Sunday, June 5, 2011

Epicor Software Corp. has tapped a Bay Area-based executive as its next leader, a move that could be the first step in relocating the company’s headquarters from Irvine to Northern California.

The business software maker late last month said industry veteran Pervez Qureshi is taking over as chief executive, replacing longtime Epicor boss George Klaus.

A 15-year veteran of Epicor, Klaus is in his 70s. He stepped away from the top post several years ago before returning.

Klaus is set to retain his role as chairman and “continue to play an important part in the company’s strategic development,” according to Epicor.

The leadership change is one of the first management decisions made under new private equity owner Apax Partners LLC and a possible indication that Epicor could move its headquarters.

Last month, London-based Apax bought Epicor and Northern California’s Activant Solutions Inc. in a pair of deals valued at $2 billion.

Apax is combining Epicor with Activant. The combined company is expected to keep the Epicor name.

Qureshi has served as chief executive of Activant.

Epicor employs about 250 engineers, designers and sales, marketing and administrative personnel in Irvine.

Software

The company’s software helps companies manage operations, back-end tasks and customer relationships. It’s the fifth-largest software maker here with about $450 million in annual sales.

A permanent headquarters location hasn’t been selected for the combined company, according to an Epicor spokeswoman. The company declined to comment beyond that.

Qureshi, who previously held senior positions at Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp., is in the process of putting together a management team.

One key spot already has been filled. Kathy Crusco was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of the combined company.

She joined Activant in 2007 and replaces Epicor’s financial chief Michael Pietrini, who will take another position.

Twenty Years Public

Apax’s $976 million buy of Epicor ended the company’s nearly 20-year stint as a public company.

Epicor went public in 1992 as Platinum Software Corp. and changed its name in 1999.

The company is expected to keep a sizable operation in Irvine. Cuts are likely as the two companies combine, more so if the headquarters shifts to Activant’s base in Livermore, east of Oakland.

Planned Move

Epicor recently signed a deal to move its local operations to the Lakeshore Towers office complex near John Wayne Airport, across the street from where it’s now based.

The lease includes a sign on top of the 18-story building at 18101 Von Karman Ave.

The company is leasing about 68,000 square feet of space there, taking up three of the office tower’s top four floors, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It has been leasing about 74,000 square feet at the nearby Irvine Towers.

Epicor is expected to move to the new Irvine office this summer.

Activant leases about 80,000 square feet at its Livermore headquarters in a deal that runs through next year.

Epicor and Activant are set to have a combined $825 million in annual sales and focus on manufacturers, distributors, service providers and retailers.

Late last year, Apax acquired Irvine’s Advantage Sales & Marketing for $1.8 billion.

Advantage does marketing for grocery and consumer products companies.

In 2008, Apax acquired Newport Beach-based medical information and technology company TriZetto Group Inc. for $1.4 billion.