In a rare business maneuver, three companies are merging, but no acquisition is taking place.

Testing tools company AutomatedQA and life-cycle tool maker Pragmatic Software are joining with SmartBear Software, which provides peer-review software and guidance, under the SmartBear name, the companies announced today.

The reason no money is changing hands is because each of the companies was purchased over the last few years by private equity fund Insight Venture Partners. In 2007, the firm bought Automated QA; then in 2008 it acquired SmartBear; and last year it grabbed up Pragmatic.

AutomatedQA’s flagship products are automated testing tool TestComplete and performance profiler AQtime. Pragmatic sells Software Planner for test, requirement, defect and project management. SmartBear makes CodeCollaborator, which it describes as a lightweight code-review tool.

Gottfried Sehringer, CMO at AutomatedQA, said the tools will continue on with those names as they are well-known in the industry. The company will organize its product portfolio around testers and developers.

Sehringer said the merger brings together a family of tools that SmartBear views from a best-of-breed perspective. “We don’t talk about an ALM suite,” he said. “We look at ourselves as serving developers and testers with quality tools at an affordable price.”

Companies that carry the ALM torch are selling expensive packages with long evaluation and purchasing cycles to CIOs, Sehringer said, as a way of differentiating SmartBear’s approach to the market.

The reorganization will leave Joe Krivickas, SmartBear’s CEO, at the top of the corporate ladder. Krivickas ran Bluestone Software and Segue Software before they were purchased (by HP and Borland, respectively), and he was at FAST Software before Microsoft acquired it to build into its SharePoint software.

Derek Langone, who joined AutomatedQA in 2007 and brought that company to profitability, will remain president with responsibility for sales. Steve Miller, who was CEO of Pragmatic until its 2009 acquisition by Insight Venture Partners, is VP and general manager of the Software Planner development team. Ian McLeod, who was at Segue, Rational Software, and most recently AutomatedQA, assumes the title of executive vice president of products, according to Sehringer.

The company’s development teams will also remain intact in their current locations: SmartBear in Austin, Texas; Pragmatic in Denver; and AutomatedQA in Beverly, Mass. Each team, Sehringer said, will continue on with the work it has done on its product sets as the company tries to foster domain knowledge in those locations.

“The guys in Austin know peer review,” he said. “There’s no reason to get the Denver guys involved in that.”