Oracle to acquire e-commerce software maker ATG for US$1bil


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 03 Nov 2010

OAKLAND, California: Oracle Corp. is adding to its software arsenal software with the US$1 billion all-cash deal announced Tuesday for a company called Art Technology Group Inc., which helps businesses interact with online shoppers to boost sales.

The acquisition deepens the push by one of the world's biggest business software makers to control more of the technology that powers companies' day-to-day chores.

ATG, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, works with customers such as AT&T, Best Buy and CVS to improve their websites and streamline online purchasing. ATG's software monitors its customers' websites and helps target sales pitches by analyzing the behavior of visitors to those sites.

The purchase price of $6 per share is a 46 percent premium over ATG's closing price on Monday.

Oracle's $40 billion acquisition spree over the past half decade has pushed the company well beyond the database software for which Oracle was originally known. It's now a major player in business applications and other kinds of software that operate outside of the average consumer's view, but are vital to many everyday functions, such as banking or surfing the Internet or getting paid on time.

Forrester analyst Brian Walker says the deal helps Oracle fill a "significant hole" it had in electronic commerce products.

"The trend of 'dropping the e from e-commerce' is something we have been talking about for some time, as e-commerce solutions are leveraged not only on the Web but also in the call center, to drive mobile commerce, and increasingly in the store or branch," he wrote in a blog post Tuesday.

ATG's stock jumped 45.1 percent, or $1.85, to finish the regular trading session at $5.95.

ATG's shares haven't traded above $5 since 2001, when they came down from Internet-bubble heights of $120. The company went public in 1999.

The deal needs shareholder and regulatory approval. Oracle expects to complete the deal by early next year.

Oracle shares rose 7 cents to $29.20 in pre-market trading.

Separately, ATG reported results for the third quarter. It said net income was $4.2 million, or 3 cents per share, up from $4 million, or 3 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 16 percent from a year ago to $50.3 million. - AP

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