Corel has merged with Inprise/Borland to create a "Linux powerhouse", the company announced yesterday.

Under the deal, worth $2.44 billion, Inprise/Borland will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corel. The transaction is expected to be completed in late spring.

Inprise/Borland is a software developer based in Silicon Valley, where it produces Internet access infrastructure tools for all major platforms - most notably Linux. Recently it announced a free download of JBuilder 3 Foundation - a Java development environment for Linux - and a rapid-application development tool for Linux, called Kylix.

The merged company will keep the name Corel. Corel’s headquarters will be in Ottawa, while the Inprise/Borland operations remain in Silicon Valley. Dale Fuller, Inprise/Borland’s interim president and CEO, will be appointed as chairman of Corel’s board of directors. Corel’s Michael Cowpland will keep his role as president, CEO and director.

According to Corel’s statement, the combined company will have one of the largest teams of Linux developers, dedicated to providing end-to-end solutions and global support for the Linux platform.

Cowpland said: "With Inprise/Borland’s leadership in the software development community, and Corel’s Linux desktop operating system and productivity applications, we have an extraordinary opportunity to reach all facets of the exploding Linux market."