SAP has vowed to remain independent in the face of growing speculation that the business software company will be acquired by HP.
Co-chief executives Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott told the Financial Times that SAP has logged stronger sales since they took over, and will continue to do so.
McDermott claimed that SAP's improvement in market capitalisation means that HP is now only €7bn ahead.
"We get to the point where we appreciate the compliment that we are a jewel in the crown, but we do have some swagger on our own," he told the paper.
The speculation that SAP will be bought by one of its rivals was instigated by analysts and industry insiders, who have said that the firm’s three elderly founders, who own 24 per cent of the company, could choose to sell, partly because of SAP's poor performance.
Before the co-chief executives took over from Léo Apotheker, SAP was suffering from poor financial results, dwindling customer satisfaction owing to increasing enterprise support costs and a general lack of direction.
Meanwhile, Apotheker moved on to take up his position as chief executive of HP, and announced a further push into software, which only increased the acquisition rumours.
However, John Antunes, SAP director of SME and channels, dismissed the rumours.
"The fact that we had a chief executive move to HP was always going to fuel the [rumours of an acquisition]. As far as I know it’s not happening and it’s all rumours," he told V3.co.uk.
Gartner analyst Donald Feinberg does not believe that SAP will be acquired in the near future, but the fact that its co-executives spoke to the press about HP's ability to purchase the firm is an indicator that there is more to the acquisition theory than pure rumour.
“The co-executives don’t normally do press interviews so I am sceptical in that there may be something behind this. HP could have approached SAP,” he said.
“But I do agree with everything they say, and the two companies’ valuations in market capatilisation are too close, so it would be a stretch."
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