Uniface BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Uniface was a Dutch software company marketing its development tool in Europe and North America. The Uniface programming language integrated web, mobile and other applications on a server-based system.
The founder brought Cairns into the Company as CFO in 1993 with the goal of taking the Company public on the NASDAQ and ASE exchanges. However, after Cairns had prepared the business in order to bring investment banks on board and having secured Morgan Stanley to underwrite a listing, it became apparent that the Founder was not supportive of the constrictions that a public listing would place on his liquidity and Cairns advised the founder to instead explore a trade sale to engineer an exit.
Soon after, discussions were initiated with Compuware and Cairns personally negotiated a sale at approximately US$40 million in 1994 – a price substantially more than the shareholders had been anticipating.