SPSS buy could trigger analytics boom

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IBM has made a $1.2 billion proposal to buy predictive analytics vendor SPSS in a move many expect to trigger further consolidation in this
sector. The information management giant is offering $50 per share for SPSS, which had revenues of $302.9 million in 2008, in a move that fills an obvious hole in IBM’s proposition.

“With this acquisition we are extending our capabilities around a new level of analytics that not only provides clients with greater insight, but true foresight,” said Ambuj Goyal, general manager of IBM’s Information Management division.

“Predictive analytics can help clients move beyond the ‘sense and respond’ mode, which can leave blind spots for strategic information in today’s fast paced environment, to ‘predict and act’ for improved business outcomes.”

According to Tony Baer and Madan Sheina, analysts at Ovum, “this acquisition prevents Oracle and SAP from getting their hands on the technology to buttress their BI analytics stories. They are left pursuing niche players such as InforSense, ThinkAnalytics or KXEN.”

But KXEN founder and CEO Roger Haddad said, “there is no ‘For Sale’ sign hanging in our window”. He added: “The price paid for SPSS of four times revenues and 25 times earnings shows just how valuable this sector really is.”

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