04 August 2005 Software company SSA Global Technologies is set to acquire business software vendor Epiphany in a $329 million cash deal, to grow its customer relationship management (CRM) offering.
Chicago-based SSA specialises in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, which helps to automate business processes. Its product portfolio is the result of intense acquisition activity, closing ten deals since 2001, including the $135 million purchase of ERP poster child Baan and manufacturing software maker Marcam.
“CRM is an important growth market and Epiphany has innovative solutions that are highly respected for their robust functionality, technology infrastructure and ease-of use,” said Mike Greenough, chairman, president and CEO of SSA Global.
Epiphany has had a turbulent history, raising millions of dollars from its IPO at the height of the dot com hysteria. It was a forerunner in the development of analytical CRM applications. But the decision of its management board to sell the company for £329 million – when it has $166 million in cash – is indicative of how it has struggled to find buyers for its technology.
“Epiphany’s trading position was deteriorating. We suspect many existing Epiphany customers were getting increasingly leery about spending more money with it due to concerns about its long-term survival prospects, so some revenues may now return to the company, said David Bradshaw, of analyst group Ovum.
SSA Global became a public company in April 2005 after having survived a near-death experience in 2000, as it suffered from the downturn in IT spending. The company was taken over by a consortium of financial analysts, which invested heavily in making further technology acquisitions, before launching an IPO earlier this year.
The deal is expected to close within eight weeks, subject to shareholder approval.