Microsoft to sell stake in Corel

Microsoft is preparing to sell its stake in struggling Canadian software maker Corel at a loss of more than $100 million.

Vector Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, announced this week that its Vector CC Holdings arm has signed an agreement with Microsoft to buy the company's 22.89 million preferred shares in Corel. The deal will be completed by March 24.

Vector will pay about 56 cents a share, according to the announcement, bringing the total value of the deal to $12.88 million. Microsoft paid $135 million in October 2000 to acquire a 24.6 percent share of Corel, best known for its WordPerfect office applications and graphics software.

The deal was seen as a life preserver for Corel, then struggling with the fallout from a failed merger with software maker Inprise, recent executive departures and layoffs.

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