Uncle Sam Approves IBM’s SPSS Deal; What’s Next to Buy?
September 21, 2009 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Department has quietly let pass its right to contest the $1.2 billion acquisition of analytics software maker SPSS by IBM. The deal was announced in July, and SPSS shareholders will be brought together on October 2 to vote for or against the acquisition.
It is hard to imagine SPSS shareholders won’t go for the deal, or that European antitrust regulators will poke their nose in the deal and try to put the kibosh on it. And with IBM paying a 42.5 percent premium for SPSS, based on the closing price on Wall Street on July 27, just before the deal was announced as part of IBM’s Smart Analytics System launch, it seems very unlikely that someone, such as Oracle or SAP, will sweep in and try to outbid IBM for SPSS.
Oracle has other fish to fry–namely, its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which has been stalled by European antitrust regulators because of their concern that Oracle will own the open source MySQL database. And SAP has woes of its own to cope with, such as the delayed launch in its SaaS software stacks and frozen ERP software sales in Europe and North America.
The question now is, what will Software Group try to eat next? Or IBM in general? I would not be surprised to see Big Blue gobble up some switch makers, such as Brocade Communications or Voltaire, and some esoteric application and middleware vendors in the HPC markets with expertise in messaging and clustering. But sitting here on Friday, I can’t think of a big deal that makes sense for Big Blue, except perhaps acquiring Novell or Red Hat.
IBM turns back on server history: To give and to hybrid (The Register)