SSA leads chase to buy Baan

2 May 2003 SSA Global Technologies will shortly conclude the purchase of Invensys’ Baan software subsidiary, according to mounting rumours circulating in the City of London.

The revitalised enterprise resource planning (ERP) software vendor SSA GT is set to conclude a deal within weeks for Baan — and for radically less than the $708 million that Invensys, the troubled engineering conglomerate, paid for it in 2000.

SSA GT is awash with cash after raising $75 million from venture capital group General Atlantic Partners just last month. CEO Mike Greenough’s plans to make SSA GT a $400 million company by July 2003 are well known. It even retains a head of acquisitions to research potential opportunities.

Both Baan and SSA GT were once top five ERP software vendors.

In April 2002, SSA bought the Interbiz ERP division of Computer Associates, but its revenues still run far short of Greenough’s target. In the second fiscal quarter to the end of January 2003, the company posted revenues of $64 million, up 55% on the same period a year earlier.

System Software Associates (SSA) was one of the stars of the early enterprise resource planning (ERP) software sector, but sales collapsed dramatically in the mid-1990s following the botched introduction of new product.

Called BPCS 6, the package was bug-ridden and, before those bugs had been ironed out, the company tried to force users into upgrading. That led to a fall in sales and a crisis of confidence from which it never recovered.

It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2000 and the assets were purchased by Gores Technology Group in July of that year. In May 2001, another venture capital investor, Cerberus, took a majority stake in the company.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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