EMC Buys SourceLabs, Qwell Raises $7M, Microsoft Layoff Rumors Rebuffed (For Now), & More Seattle-Area Deals News

1/6/09Follow @gthuang

It’s been a pretty slow couple of weeks for deals in the Northwest, what with the holidays. But there were still some big ones in software and biotech—starting with an Xconomy exclusive below.

—Xconomy broke the news this morning that Seattle-based Qwell Pharmaceuticals has raised a $7 million Series A round led by Arch Venture Partners and the Wellcome Trust. Qwell, which is developing new types of drugs to fight cancer and inflammation, could end up raising as much as $35 million in its first round, said Arch managing director Steve Gillis, in an exclusive interview with Luke.

—Hillsboro, OR-based FEI (NASDAQ: FEIC), a maker of high-resolution imaging tools, acquired the assets of Brisbane, Australia-based Intellection Holdings for about $2.8 million. The deal seems to strengthen FEI’s position in the global mining and mineralogy markets.

—Bob reported on Hopkinton, MA-based EMC’s acquisition of part of Seattle software startup SourceLabs. The deal, which was first reported by TechFlash, involves undisclosed assets and employees, but does not include the Swik.net open-source project run by SourceLabs, according to EMC (NYSE: EMC). The data-storage giant may be focused on SourceLabs’ data management tools, which would bolster its efforts in cloud computing.

—Not technically a deal, but some useful advice on how to follow through on deals. Moni Miyashita of IBM in Armonk, NY, gave pointers on how to successfully integrate a company after a merger. The keys, according to Miyashita, are strong leadership and performance management focus from the top.

—Lastly, Luke rounded up the latest rumors that Microsoft might be getting ready to lay off 10 to 15 percent of its staff—as many as 15,000 people. As of today, the rumors remain unsubstantiated. CNBC, citing a Microsoft source, reported the Redmond company will embark on a cost-cutting initiative this year, but that a big layoff is unlikely. Nevertheless, the rumors persist, according to reports in PC World and Network World. If anything happens, look for it before Microsoft’s quarterly earnings report on January 22.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com or call him at 617-252-7323. Follow @gthuang

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