9 May 2003 Baan, the enterprise resource planning software vendor put up for sale by its parent Invensys last month, has announced that it signed up 52 new customers in the first quarter of the year.
The sales were achieved despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the company.
The new customers were from all parts of the world, claimed Baan president Laurens van der Tang. This included 28 in the European region, 17 in North and South America — including the Staples office supplies retail chain — and seven in Asia/Pacific.
But speculation is still rife about which company Baan will be sold to. A recent AMR Research alert pointed to SSA Global Technologies, PeopleSoft or a venture capital funded group as the most likely buyers of Baan.
Forrester analyst Charles Homs has suggested that a venture capital group such as Golden Gate Capital or Bain Capital are the most likely suitors, although he also suggests that Geac, which bought JBA Software; Computer Associates, which recently divested itself of its legacy ERP software; or even Microsoft might be tempted.
However, rumours are rife in the City that an acquisition of Baan by SSA GT is imminent.
SSA GT not only has the money after a recent round of fund raising, but it also has the desire. CEO Mike Greenough has repeatedly stated his desire to boost SSA GT’s annual revenues to $400 million by July 2003.