The merger between Attachmate and WRQ closed yesterday, creating one of the largest software companies in Washington state, but leaving...

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The merger between Attachmate and WRQ closed yesterday, creating one of the largest software companies in Washington state, but leaving two unanswered questions: How many employees will be let go and where the company will be headquartered.

The company, renamed AttachmateWRQ, gave layoff notices to an undisclosed number of North American employees yesterday and said it soon would notify international employees of job cuts. The new company has nearly 1,000 workers.

New Chief Executive Jeff Hawn, who had been serving as WRQ’s chairman, declined to specify the number of cuts but said it falls below the state’s threshold of requiring official notification.

He said the company had not decided where its headquarters would be: at WRQ’s Seattle offices or in Attachmate’s Bellevue location.

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Before the merger, Attachmate was the larger of the two companies, with 650 employees, including about 390 in Bellevue and about 40 developers in Bellingham. WRQ had 300 employees, 230 in Seattle.

WRQ and Attachmate, both founded in the early 1980s, develop “host-access” software, which helps companies manage and access information stored on large computers, such as mainframes and older legacy systems. With the merger, the combined company is the largest provider, not including IBM, of this type of software.

The marriage resulted from efforts by a group of investment companies that purchased WRQ in December 2004. The group announced plans in April to purchase Attachmate and merge the two. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The intent of the merger is to help the two companies grow in a mature market. Combined, they would have annual sales of more than $200 million, with projections to grow to between $500 million and $1 billion.

The investment companies participating in the deal include Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Cressey Equity partners, all with offices in the San Francisco area.

The deal could put AttachmateWRQ in line to file for an initial public offering. “I’m not going to say no,” Hawn said.

AttachmateWRQ senior executives will include former Attachmate executives Jeff Libby as senior vice president of finance and operations and Bob Flynn as senior vice president of worldwide sales. Former WRQ CEO Shaun Wolfe will be senior vice president of products and marketing.

Tricia Duryee: 206-464-3283 or tduryee@seattletimes.com