Dutch enterprise software giant Baan has bought UK financial specialist The Coda Group for $86.6 million (#52.9 million), posing a serious challenge to accounting rival Sage.
All 450 Coda staff, the majority based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, will remain employed by Baan, according to Baan chief financial officer Klaas Wagernaar. He said Baan may launch Coda?s financial software as a standalone product.
This could be bad news for accounting software houses such as Sage and Pegasus, which will find it harder to compete with the corporate weight of Baan than with the largely UK-oriented Coda.
For Baan, the acquisition makes up for its previous lack of the strong financial software tools of its competitors, which include Oracle, Peoplesoft and SAP. It has traditionally concentrated on the manufacturing applications market but observers believe it needs to broaden its range to provide the overall enterprise approach of its chief rivals.
Coda has had little success in the US in the past and patchy financial results but the combination should help both win business in both Europe and the US, said analysts.
Wagernaar said Baan can also offer financial tools within its ERP products to exploit the high end of that market. The share-based deal should close by the end of June, Baan said, assuming that Coda shareholders and government agencies approve it.
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