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Sterling Software Buys Information Advantage for $163m.

Software developer Sterling Software Inc said Friday it plans to buy business software maker Information Advantage Inc for about $163m in cash. Under the definitive agreement, Dallas-based Sterling said it will make a $6.50 per share cash tender offer for the shares of Information Advantage, beginning on July 21. The tender will be followed by a second-step merger at the same price per share. The companies anticipate closing the transaction in late August. Shares of Minneapolis, based Information Advantage, which has about 500 employees and reported fiscal 1998 revenues of $70.7m, closed on Thursday at $5.50. The company makes business intelligence query and reporting software and also launched the first BI portal, called MyEureka, which gives users access, through a browser, to all a company's BI applications.

A spokesperson for Sterling said it was still too early to comment on points of integration between to the two companies' software but it's clear there will certainly be some overlap. Both have query and reporting tools and Sterling also recently announced a Java-based portal called Vision Kaleidoscope. The spokesperson denied that having two portals would be confusing for prospective customers. "The two fit together perfectly," he said. While he tried to point out the differences between the two portals, "theirs has a robust back end and ours has a robust front end," he wasn't able to say whether Sterling planned to roll the two into a single offering. He added that Information Advantage's MyEureka's uses a content server, which Sterling doesn't have, and that it has a relational OLAP engine, while Sterling's is multidimensional. Other than that, he said more details on integration are expected by the end of August. He added that the overall aim of the merger was to boost Sterling's position in the BI market. "We've been a player for some time now, but not really a big one," he said, "with this acquisition we want to become one of the leading vendors."
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 19, 1999
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