Enterprise resource planning software vendor Infor has agreed to acquire rival Lawson in a deal believed to be worth around $2 billion.
The deal continues Infor’s strategy of accumulating business applications vendors. The company, which is owned and financed by Silicon Valley private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, has previously purchased SSA Global, GEAC, UK performance management software vendor Systems Union and many more.
Pre-empting accusations that Infor is a ‘collector’ – a company that simply buys software vendors to collect the maintenance payments – its CEO (and former Oracle co-president) Charles Philips insisted that it will invest in innovation around Lawson’s products.
"We have a long list of ideas to improve the customer experience and deliver value through a singular focus on enterprise applications, accelerated investment, and a strong incentive to challenge convention,"said Philips, who masterminded many of Oracle’s high profile acquisitions.
All business applications vendors were hit hard by the recession, but unlike most of its competitors Lawson has been unable to manage anything more than single digit growth in the last few financial quarters.
In a conference call with investments analysts earlier this year, Lawson’s CEO Harry Debes said the company’s competitors were offering potential customers "unbelievable, unrealistic pricing deals". "They’re virtually offering the software at 80%, 90% discounts and giving fixed price services with unreasonable time frames," he said.
Debes famously declared in 2008 that the software-as-a-service sector would collapse within two years.