Business-to-business (B2B) software company Ariba will buy Agile Software, a collaborative supply chain software developer, in a $2.55bn stock swap deal.
The acquisition is expected to boost Ariba's offering in the ultra-competitive B2B software market. This month, Ariba was the first major B2B software player to report an operating profit, even though sales were slightly below analysts' expectations.
Bryan Stolle, chairman and chief executive at Agile, said the two firms share a common vision. "The cultural and product fit between Agile and Ariba is exceedingly strong, providing us with an unprecedented opportunity to define the future of the industry," he said.
The two companies will combine Ariba's ecommerce Buyer platform with Agile's Anywhere e-procurement software for the direct materials market. Direct goods are usually raw materials used by customers to make their products.
They will also integrate Ariba's Commerce Services Network with Agile's MyAgile platform, which consists of online marketplaces, custom part procurement, wireless access and components research.
Agile's customers include Compaq, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lucent and TexasInstruments.
According to researcher Gartner, companies can expect a 40 per cent gain in profitability by deploying collaborative commerce frameworks between themselves and their suppliers.
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