Cerberus Acquires United Rentals, And With it an i5/OS BI Vendor
July 24, 2007 Alex Woodie
Cerberus Capital Management announced this week a plan to acquire United Rentals, a large, publicly traded i5/OS shop, and also the owners of InfoManager, a developer of business intelligence solutions for the i5/OS platform.
Cerberus is best known to readers of this newsletter as the private equity firm that helped resurrect i5/OS ERP software developer SSA Global seven years ago, and funded its acquisition spree until SSA Global was eventually bought by another company backed by private equity, Infor, last year.
Lately, the name Cerberus, which is named after the three-headed dog of Greek mythology that guards the gates of Hades, has popped up frequently. The company has bought whole or partial shares of such notable companies as Chrysler, GMAC, Mervyn’s, and Albertson’s (although it has since sold its GMAC shares), among many others.
This week, United Rentals, announced plans to be acquired by Cerberus for $6.6 billion, which includes $2.6 billion in debt. United Rentals, which is based in Greenwich, Connecticut, is the world’s largest equipment rental company, with annual sales of about $3.6 billion.
And in addition to being a user of IBM‘s System i server, (it’s listed as a customer for Wynne Systems‘ RentalMan ERP application for rental companies), United Rentals is also an i5/OS software vendor itself.
Several years ago, United Rentals bought InfoManager, a developer of data warehousing and online analytical processing (OLAP) software for the i5/OS server, which is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. United Rentals was InfoManager’s biggest customer at the time, and probably still is.
It’s unknown what Cerberus’ plans are for InfoManager, but it’s highly unlikely that the firm bought United Rentals for its business intelligence software assets. Just the same, Cerberus is, once again, the proud owner of a mature i5/OS product with a decent-size user base from which it can collect maintenance fees.
InfoManager Provides Another Option for System i OLAP
This article has been corrected. Cerberus plans to buy United Rentals for a total of $6.6 billion, which includes $2.6 billion in debt, not a total of $9.2 billion, as we had originally reported. IT Jungle regrets the error.