The Lawson-Intentia Merger Is Finally Done
May 8, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It may have seemed to have taken a lot longer than it did, but the acquisition of Intentia International by Lawson Software was officially completed last week, just a few weeks shy of a year from the time the deal was announced. The deal was expected to close by the end of January, but had to be extended to the end of April. Last week, Intentia’s shareholders approved the deal and the company’s stock began trading on the Stockholm Exchange; Lawson was already publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange in New York, and as we reported two weeks ago, Lawson’s shareholders had already approved the acquisition.
Some 97 percent of Intentia’s share and warrant holders approved the deal, which was better than the 74.5 percent of Lawson shareholders who went for the deal. The acquisition was funded in large part by Lawson issuing new shares, which would obviously dilute the holdings of existing shareholders. But, then again, now the company is roughly twice as large, with about $750 million in annual sales, and can leverage synergies instead of competing. That’s the theory, at least.
Now that the deal is done, Lawson rolled out new product names for its software suites. Lawson’s own eponymous suite is now Lawson S3, while the Java-based Movex suite from Intentia is called Lawson M3. Before it announced the Intentia deal, Lawson had already committed to moving its own applications to Java, and I have always contended that Lawson bought Intentia not just to get access to its European markets and manufacturing and distribution customer base, but to get a seasoned team of Java developers who had already done a port from RPG to Java.
As part of the rebranding of the ERP suites, Lawson has come up with some clever slogans to help it differentiate the two software suites. The Lawson S3 suite is aimed at the services business, or more specifically, those companies or organizations that “staff, source, and serve.” This means government, schools, healthcare, banking, and insurance. The Lawson M3 suite is aimed at those who “make, move, and maintain,” which specifically means food and beverage makers, fashion and apparel makers, and wholesale distributors and their value chain of partners.