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Company and tech news from the region.

Spanlink buys Discern Communications

Minneapolis-based Spanlink Communications Inc., an IP contact center solution provider, completed the acquisition of Discern Communications, a spin-off of SRI (formerly Stanford Research Institute).

The stock swap agreement makes SRI a strategic Spanlink investor, along with Cisco Systems.

Euler, Harley, Knowledge Park team up

Euler Solutions, Harley and Associates, and Knowledge Peak have signed a cooperative agreement and formally declared an alliance.

The three firms will share technical resources and cross-market each other’s services.

Euler has been a provider of I.T. training since it was founded in 1985. Harley is a local consulting organization specializing in custom application and database design and development. Knowledge Peak provides on-site training solutions for corporate IT staff.

Digital Angel receives USDA order

Digital Angel Corp. has received an order for 300,000 specialized animal tags and implantable microchips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Terms of the order were not released.

The government will use the equipment to study the spread of diseases among deer, elk and sheep.

South St. Paul-based Digital Angel makes miniature transmitters that are implanted in animals to monitor their movements and transmit data on their health.

SoftBrands set to restructure

SoftBrands Inc., a software provider that has picked up the pieces of the former AremiSoft Corp., said it will restructure its business and management as it battles a slowdown in spending in the hospitality sector.

The Richfield-based company said the restructuring would largely focus on its hospitality division, which sells management software to hotels and resorts. That sector has cut spending in the wake of travel declines after the 2001 terrorist attacks and the SARS outbreaks earlier this year.

The company said it will cut up to 120 positions from its 270-person hospitality unit, mostly in infrastructure, development, and sales and marketing. SoftBrands employs a total of 650 now, said Chief Financial Officer David Latzke; almost none of the cuts will come from its Twin Cities operations, which are primarily focused on manufacturing software.

August Technology raises $41.6 million

August Technology Corp. raised about $41.6 million through a public offering of 3.3 million shares. Included in the offering were 268,250 shares held by a number of unnamed current shareholders.

Bloomington-based August also granted the underwriters of the offering an option to buy up to 490,238 additional shares.

Stellent expands Canada operations

Eden Prairie-based Stellent Inc., a provider of content management products, has expanded its operations in Canada.

The company appointed Michael Rudy, formerly vice president of alliances and services for Stellent, to vice president and general manager for Canadian operations. In this new position, Rudy reports to David Batt, executive vice president of global field operations for Stellent.

Additionally, Stellent has opened its Canadian headquarters office in Toronto.

Hotwire sold for $665 million

Travel Web site Hotwire.com has been sold for $665 million to InterActiveCorp, a New York-based e-commerce company.

Hotwire was founded in 2000 by Northwest Airlines Corp., six other airlines and some investors as a way to get rid of excess inventory and to compete with other Web sites offering airline tickets, hotel rooms, and other travel services.

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