SoftQuad Software, Inc. Formed by Management Buyout of SoftQuad, Inc., Affirms Commitment to HTML, XML Market Leadership

TORONTO, ONTARIO. November 16, 1998.

SoftQuad Software, Inc. today announced the formation of the company through a management buyout of the assets of SoftQuad, Inc., a subsidiary of SoftQuad International. Senior executives at the former SoftQuad, Inc., backed by private investors, purchased the assets for CND $1.39M, including SoftQuad, U.K., the company's European distribution subsidiary. As part of the transaction the company has issued 19 percent of its shares to SoftQuad International.

SoftQuad Software was formed to create high quality HTML and XML authoring tools, with the goals of broad market acceptance and technological leadership. Widely credited with pioneering the commercial market for HTML editing software, SoftQuad recently launched HoTMetaL PRO 5.0, the latest version of the company's flagship Web authoring tool, to excellent reviews. PC Week Labs called HoTMetaL "one of the best choices for HTML authors that PC Week Labs has seen," while InfoWorld described the product as "a top-notch editor for developing websites and HTML pages." Added Bill Machrone, VP Technology, Ziff-Davis, "SoftQuad has pulled out all the stops and created a superb authoring environment."

According to Roberto Drassinower, President and CEO of SoftQuad Software Inc., "We see a tremendous opportunity in the continuing evolution of the Web. We're also excited about the emergence of XML technologies. With our roots in the corporate SGML market and strong Internet brand recognition with HoTMetaL, we are ideally positioned for market leadership.

"Our management team has the necessary expertise, focus and commitment to make this venture a success," Drassinower said. "Likewise, we have the human and financial resources to get the job done. SoftQuad Software will succeed through world-class technical expertise, solid management, and commitment to value for our customers. The company will move quickly to leverage its competitive market position, technological expertise and broad customer base. We will continue aggressive product development, improve customer service, and increase visibility in key user communities."

SoftQuad Software's go-to-market strategy calls for multi-tiered distribution including retail, online sales, HoTMetaL Power Partners, value-added resellers, systems integrators, OEMs and direct sales.

Seasoned Management Team

Drassinower served as vice president and general manager of SoftQuad Inc. He joined the company in 1994, and presided over the successful launch of HoTMetaL PRO 4.0 and the recent launch of 5.0. Drassinower has worked in the software industry since 1985, managing technology businesses for eight years and serving as a software engineer and systems designer for more than five years.

Joining Drassinower on the senior management team are Jonathan Sachs, vice president, sales and marketing; Bruce Sharpe, vice president of product development; Peter Sharpe, chief scientist, in charge of research and development; and Lauren Wood, director of product technology. Each participated in the management buyout.

Sachs's career in high technology spans more than 15 years, including a five-year stint as national sales and marketing manager for Microsoft Canada. During his tenure at Microsoft, the subsidiary won the prestigious President's Award for Performance on four occasions and experienced overall growth of 800 percent.

Bruce Sharpe joined SoftQuad, Inc. in 1996 and has been responsible for product development for HTML, XML and SGML authoring and delivery. Sharpe has led several software research and development teams since he obtained his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of British Columbia in 1984.

Peter Sharpe served as chief scientist in the research and development group of SoftQuad, Inc. He is responsible for the design and implementation of the HTML, SGML and XML editing products, including HoTMetaL. Sharpe holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Toronto, and has participated in the software industry for 16 years. Sharpe is a founding member of the W3C XML and DOM working groups and has been an active participant in ISO WG8 (now WG4) SGML and DSSSL committees.

At SoftQuad, Inc., Lauren Wood was technical product manager and won recognition as a popular speaker at industry conferences. She has played a major role in the design of SoftQuad's authoring tools, as well as taking part in various technical committees, among them the W3C CSS and Formatting Properties Working Group, the HTML Working Group, the XML Working Group and various Web Accessibility Initiative Working Groups. She chairs the W3C Document Object Model (DOM) Working Group. Wood holds a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

About SoftQuad Software, Inc.

SoftQuad Software, Inc. is a leading provider of multi-platform, standards-based content publishing tools. Based in Toronto, Canada, SoftQuad Software Inc. is a founding member and active participant in the World Wide Web Consortium, the Internet Engineering Task Force, and the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

[SoftQuad HoTMetaL PRO and SoftQuad HoTMetaL are trademarks of SoftQuad Software, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.]


SoftQuad Software Inc.
Roberto Drassinower
Tel: +1 416/544-9000