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SAP Buys Business Objects

October 8 2007

Business software giant SAP AG is to acquire French-based Business Objects S.A. in a cash and shares transaction totalling just over EUR 4.8 billion. The deal includes EUR 42.00 in cash per ordinary share.

Business Objects' board has approved the offer and is likely to recommend it to shareholders, subject to fulfilment of regulatory requirements. The announcement comes less than a month after Business Objects was reported by Le Figaro to be seeking a buyer (www.mrweb.com/drno/news7325.htm ). Earlier, Oracle and IBM had been rumoured as possible bidders.

The firms say the deal will offer clients 'new, innovative offerings of enterprise-wide business intelligence solutions along with embedded analytics in transactional applications', and that 'Neither company intends to undertake significant restructuring as a result of the transaction.' Business Objects will operate as a stand-alone business as part of the SAP Group and hopes to 'significantly enhance its Business Intelligence portfolio scope and capacity with SAP people, know-how and networks.'

'We are highly committed to the next generation of applications serving Business Users' comments Henning Kagermann, CEO of SAP AG. 'The acquisition of Business Objects is in keeping with SAP's stated strategy to double our addressable market by 2010 as announced in 2005', said Kagermann. ôSAP will accelerate its growth in the Business User segment, while complementing the company's successful organic growth strategy.' Following the successful establishment of its business process and enterprise SOA platforms, and launch of a complete on-demand business solution for midsized companies, SAP will 'now take the opportunity to focus on the industry's next high-growth opportunity, by accelerating and enhancing our efforts for the Business User category'.

Bernard Liautaud, Chairman and Founder of Business Objects, says the new combination 'means that we can truly amplify the reach of Business Intelligence - from the C-suite to Main Street.'

The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2008, and to be accretive to SAP's earnings per share on a US GAAP basis in 2009 and beyond.

On completion, John Schwarz will continue as CEO of Business Objects and is expected to join SAP's Executive Board. Doug Merritt, Corporate Officer, Business User, SAP, will join Business Objects and report to Schwarz, while Liautaud is likely to be elected to the SAP Supervisory board at the company's next shareholders meeting.

Business software provider SAP has more than 41,200 customers and subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. It is online at www.sap.com. Business Objects has dual headquarters in San Jose, Calif., and Paris, France, and a home page at www.businessobjects.com.

All articles 2006-22 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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