European business intelligence (BI) software suppliers that have survived the worst of the recession are fleshing out their portfolios in preparation for more robust growth in 2003.
In the largest of a raft of recent deals, French data analysis and reporting software company Business Objects pounced on Acta Technology, a supplier of data integration tools, paying EU67 million in cash. Acta had sales in 2001 of approximately $25 million (EU25.3m). Business Objects is France’s third largest software vendor, is listed on both Nasdaq and Euronext Paris, and boasted revenues of $415.8 million (EU422m) in 2001.
On a much smaller scale, fellow French BI company, Business & Decision (B&D), continued its acquisition spree. In July 2002 the company bought the consulting arm of Himalaya, the French web designer. B&D has now chalked up nine small-scale operations since 2000.
There was also activity in the BI analytics applications market. In recent weeks, SunGard Trading and Risk Systems (SunGard TRS), the IT financial risk consultancy arm of business continuity giant Sungard, swallowed Monis Software, a UK-based specialist in derivatives analytics software. SunGard TRS will add Monis’ pricing tools for financial products, such as derivatives and bonds, to its own BI software products.
As those deals underscore, smaller suppliers of BI software look increasingly vulnerable in comparison to the giants of the sector.