Infor Snaps Up SoftBrands, Gets i OS-Based Hotel Suite
August 18, 2009 Alex Woodie
Infor and its equity partner, Gold Gate Capital, last week announced the acquisition of SoftBrands, an enterprise software developer based in Minneapolis. The deal nets Infor two main business lines, including FourthShift, an ERP package for mid size manufacturers, and a suite of i OS-based property management applications that is used by some of the world’s largest casinos.
The pending acquisition of SoftBrands by Infor was previously announced by the two companies in June, and it closed this month. The deal calls for Infor and Golden Gate to pay $.92 per common share of SoftBrands stock, which was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The total value of the deal is $80 million, which was close to book value for the company, which brought in $99 million in revenue for fiscal 2008, but whose stock value had dropped to less than $.30 per share this spring.
The acquisition is the first for Infor in several years. The deal brings a new source of ERP for manufacturers. But more interestingly, the deal brings Infor the assets and software of the old Hotel Information Systems (HIS), which SoftBrands bought in 2006.
SoftBrands’ Property Management System, or PMS, is used by some of the biggest properties in the world. The product, which was called Paragon many years ago and was recently re-written in Java and renamed Epitome, is a staple of the big casinos on the Vegas strip, which, not coincidentally, are also big users of the old Infinium System2000 products that Infor also owns.
The deal puts Infor in direct competition with Agilysys, the IBM reseller which also owns several i OS applications that are widely used in the hospitality industry. Agilysys, you will remember, put itself up for sale a year ago. It seems plausible that Infor executives could have considered buying all or a portion of Agilysys. (Heck, Infor could have even changed the name of the company back to Agilisys!)
In the end, the purchase of SoftBrands gives Infor a very strong position in the hospitality and casino industry.