Divine Inc.' S Bankruptcy Filing Latest Chapter in High-Tech Saga

By Mawhorr, S. A. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 26, 2003 | Go to article overview

Divine Inc.' S Bankruptcy Filing Latest Chapter in High-Tech Saga


Mawhorr, S. A., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: S. A. Mawhorr Daily Herald Business Writer

Divine Inc., once one of the Chicago area's highest flying tech companies, is filing for bankruptcy after four short years packed with transitions as founder Andrew "Flip" Filipowski struggled to find the right formula.

"I'm surprised they lasted this long," said Mike Trigg, an analyst with Chicago-based Morningstar.

The company said Tuesday it has several buyers interested in all or parts of the company.

The company started out in 1999 as Divine InterVentures, an incubator seeking to grow Internet-based start-up companies. The name was shortened to Divine Inc. two years later when the focus switched to creating software for Internet-based business transactions and serving as a consultant for clients looking to do business over the Web.

Divine began collecting companies that would supply the services and expertise clients would need to do business over the Web.

Trigg said the problem was that Divine was buying companies at "rock bottom" prices.

"There's a reason those companies were so cheap," Trigg said. "They weren't good companies."

But others defend Filipowski.

"Despite the criticism," said Candace Renwall, executive director of the Chicago Software Association, "people know Flip and his management team were doing their best to keep Divine together through horrible economic times and the tech slump. Five to 10 years from now people might think Flip had a good idea with that business model."

Divine acquired companies at a rapid clip. …

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