Survival of the biggest in business intelligence

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.

Key majority takeovers in July/August 2002
Buyer What it does Country Target What it does Country Price EU
Acal VAR UK ScanOptic Document mgnt s/w Germany 3.4m
Allen Systems Group Enterprise s/w US Entact Information Security Security s/w Germany N/a
Alphameric Information mgnt UK Crown Management Systems Retail s/w UK 9.9m
Asprio Mobile applications Sweden Picofun Wireless entertainment s/w Sweden N/a
Atos Origin IT svcs France KPN Software House Application mgnt svcs Netherlands 29.0m
Brooks-PRI Automation Semiconductor production s/w US HERMOS Informatik RF identification systems Germany N/a
Business &Decision Business intelligence s/w &svcs France Himalaya IT svcs France N/a
Business Objects Business intelligence France Acta Technology Integration s/w US 67.0m
Cable &Wireless Telecoms network operator UK StorageWay Storage utility service provider US 2.1m
Captaris Unified communications US OfficeCom Captaris distributor Netherlands N/a
Cerner Healthcare s/w US Image Devices Picture archiving s/w Germany N/a
Chevin Network mgmt s/w UK Jyra Research Network svcs mgmt s/w US n/a
Convergys CRM s/w US Telesenskscl Billing s/w UK N/a
D+S Online E-transaction provider Germany Contakt IT service Germany N/a
Easynet Broadband svcs provider UK ISION Internet Web hosting provider Germany 3.4m
Electronics Workbench EDA tools Canada Bartels System PCB design Germany N/a
Faith Wireless applications Japan Digiplus Mobile multimedia enabler France N/a
Finmatica Supply chain mgmt s/w Italy Mercia Software Demand/supply chain planning s/w UK n/a
First Data E-commerce s/w US PayPoint E-payment solutions UK N/a
Hexagon Engineering s/w Sweden Xygent Metrology s/w US N/a
Intelliplus Group Telecomoperator &ISP U.K. PNC Web hosting UK N/a
Jacada Legacy integration solutions Israel Anota Desktop connectivity s/w Israel 0.7m
Lawson Software ERP s/w US Armature Holdings Category mgmt s/w UK 8.0m
MEMSCAP MEMS products France Cronos MEMS switches Canada 13.7m
MIPS Technologies Semiconductors US Algorithmics GNU tool chain UK N/a
Newmarket Technology Security provider UK Grosvenor Technology Security mgnt UK 10.5m
Nice Systems Multimedia recording solutions Israel Thales Contact Solutions Contact centre s/w UK 82.9m
Riverdeep Group Plc Education s/w Ireland Broderbund LLC Personal productivity s/w US 57.5m
Spirent Telecoms equipment testing UK Caw Networks Application testing s/w US 113.0m
Sungard IT services US Monis Software Derivatives analytics s/w UK n/a
SunGard Trading &Risk Systems Financial s/w &svcs US Monis Software Pricing and analytics s/w &svcs UK N/a
Telecomputing ASP Sweden Kebne International ASP Sweden N/a
Temenos Banking s/w Switzerland PkTech International Systems integrator Singapore 2.0m
TietoEnator IT service provider Finland Majiq Systems and Software Order fulfillment and manufacturing s/w US N/a
Torex Systems integrator UK Arciris Holdings PoS &back-office retail systems UK 6.3m
Wificom Broadband wireless service provider Finland Micsom Location-based services Finland N/a

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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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