Intuit bought US tax software specialist Lacerte last week, in a deal worth $400 million (#246 million).
Lacerte produces professional tax preparation software, electronic filing services and educational material based on a spreadsheet user interface.
Intuit claims Lacerte's products complement its current offerings, which have an interface based on actual tax forms and a feature set substantially different from that found in Lacerte's software.
"The combination of Intuit and Lacerte adds a new operating unit with a strong track record of recurring revenue and high profits which strengthens our commitment to the professional tax preparation business," said Bill Harris, executive vice president of Intuit. Larry Lacerte, Lacerte's president and founder, described the deal as "a perfect match for Lacerte".
Following the deal, Lacerte will become an independent subsidiary of Intuit, continuing to offer a product line distinct from Intuit's.
Tony Clifford-Winters, senior analyst at Bloor Research, said Intuit must make acquisitions to keep up with Microsoft in this market. "We are all approaching our second tax self assessment in the UK, so there is always a market for tax software," he explained. "Intuit always needs to be thinking of new ways to keep up with Microsoft."
Markus Reithweisner, Intuit's director of marketing for Europe, said the company is aiming to achieve a dominant market share during a period of consolidation in the tax software market.
He predicted there would be no job losses at Lacerte following the take over. "At the moment we do not expect redundancies since both companies are strong," he said. "In fact we may need to increase the workforce during this year."
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