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The private equity firm Thoma Cressey Equity Partners Inc. (TCEP) has been buying up ownership stakes in several HP 3000-related companies during the past six months. The latest to enter the TCE fold was Speedware's parent corporation Activant Solutions — which last week announced it has completed the transaction that brings it into the TCEP portfolio. Activant is also moving its headquarters from Austin, Texas to Livermore, Calif. and naming COO Pervez Qureshi as president and CEO of Activant.

Hellman & Friedman LLC and JMI Equity also financed the Activant buyout. TCEP also was a partner in the buyout of HP 3000 connectivity vendor WRQ last December.

Activant Holdings, the parent corporation of Activant Solutions, posted revenues of $233 million last year. Activant acquired Speedware Corp. in 2005, including the HP 3000 Platinum Migration partner Speedware Ltd. The purchase totalled $114 million.

These acquistions have driven HP 3000-related firms inside of nine-figure corporations during the past year. WRQ's revenues, before it acquired competitor Attachmate in 2005, were more than $100 million.

AttachmateWRQ, which in 2005 reported it became a firm with more than $200 million in revenues, has shown an appetite for acquiring companies of its own. The company just announced it is paying $495 million to acquire NetIQ, a systems and security management firm that helps customers ensure operational integrity, manage service levels, reduce risk, and ensure policy compliance.

The US Mint, an HP 3000 site making the transition to IBM solutions, uses the NetIQ solutions.

AttachmateWRQ reports it will be a $400 million company once its NetIQ deal goes through near the end of July. With the close of that merger, two of the more prominent HP 3000 suppliers will sit even deeper into the asset charts of two massive software corporations — at least massive on the scale of the typical HP 3000 vendor's size.

TCEP has invested more than $2 billion in companies like Activant and AttachmateWRQ in a series of seven private equity funds. TCEP has been picking growth companies. Its investments in software have yielded earnings in excess of $150 million.