Canadian technology companies rode the tech bubble of the late 1990s, putting forward world-class software and industry-leading hardware innovations. But as the tech bubble burst in 2000, these companies - many of which having soared to enormous heights - came crashing down. Here’s a look at eight of the Canadian tech industry’s biggest players in 2000, and where (or if) you can find them now.
ATI Technologies The Markham, Ont. graphics card maker long sat on top of the Canadian tech industry, but was acquired by California’s AMD for $5.6-billion (U.S.) in 2006. AMD posted big losses after the buyout, and phased out ATI branding by 2010. AMD began to phase out ATI branding in 2010.
(NORM BETTS/BLOOMBERG NEWS)
Certicom Mississauga’s Certicom Corp. developed data encyption and protection software and held a range of patents it defended aggressively. Research in Motion Ltd. took over Certicom in 2009, but only after a bidding war with California’s Verisign Inc. that forced RIM to double its offer to $3 a share, more than $130-million (Can.).
(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe And Mail)
C-MAC Industries In 2001, this Montreal electronics manufacturer’s shareholders decided to sell out to Silicon Valley’s Solectron Corp., then the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer, for $2.7-billion (U.S.). Flextronics International Ltd. would later buy Solectron for $3.6-billion (U.S.).
JDS Uniphase 2000 was a good year for this fibre-optics maker: at $153 (U.S.) a share, it briefly jumped past Royal Bank in market capitalization. 2001 was not a good year for JDS Uniphase: it posted a $56-billion (U.S.) loss, destroying many portfolios as the test bubble burst. Now based in San Jose, Calif., it’s enjoyed more modest success in recent years.
(DAVE CHAN/The Globe and Mail)
Mitel Launched in 1973 as an electric lawnmower company, it quickly became a business tech and communications firm and was bought by British Telecom in 1985. The company was split in to Zarlink Semiconductor Inc. and Mitel Networks Corp. in 2002, with Canadian co-founder Terry Matthews taking over the latter as a communications equipment business. After two years of being listed on the Nasdaq, Mitel tried to gain momentum by listing on the TSX in June 2012.
Corel Started by Mitel co-founder Michael Cowpland in 1985, software giant Corel’s value topped $2.5-billion in 1999, but had already peaked after battling Microsoft and Adobe products. Within a year, Mr. Cowpland had left after accusations of insider trading, and 25 per cent of Corel was sold to Microsoft for $135-million. After going public in 2006, the company went private in 2006.
Cognos The Ottawa business intellience company rebounded from the early-2000s tech crash, but not after taking a loss in 2001 and cutting 300 jobs. In 2007, it was Canada’s largest software company - and was acquired by IBM for $4.9-billion (U.S).
Descartes Systems Group Waterloo, Ont.’s Descartes, offering logistics management technology, had its IPO on the TSX in 1998 and Nasdaq in 1999. Shares rose past $100 in 2000, but by 2004, the company sacked CEO Manuel Pietra and cut 35 per cent of its work forcel; in 2006, it won thee International Business Award for best turnaround in operating performance. Pictured here is the company’s former senior vice president of global marketing Jonathan Tice on May 11, 2001.
(Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)