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7/28/2009
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IBM To Acquire SPSS For $1.2 Billion

Big Blue also revealed a separate deal to buy out security and compliance vendor Ounce Labs for an undisclosed sum.

IBM said Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire SPSS Inc., a Chicago-based developer of software that helps companies predict demand environments, market opportunities, pricing trends, and other business conditions.

Also Tuesday, IBM said it has bought out security and compliance software maker Ounce Labs. Terms were not revealed.

IBM will pay $50 per share, or about $1.2 billion, to acquire SPSS. Big Blue said it expects to close the transaction by year's end. SPSS shares were up 40% early Tuesday, to $49.12. IBM shares were off .67% to $116.84.

The move is in keeping with IBM's ongoing campaign to transform itself into a vendor of high-margin software and services products. The company has made 27 acquisitions in the business intelligence and analytics segment to date.

Industry watcher IDC believes the market for business analytics software is on pace to grow 4% in 2009, to $25 billion.

IBM said it would add SPSS's operations to its Information on Demand software unit, which specializes in providing tools that help businesses extract and interpret data from internal and external sources in order to aid decision making.

"With this acquisition, we are extending our capabilities around a new level of analytics that not only provides clients with greater insight—but true foresight," said Ambuj Goyal, IBM's general manager for Information Management, in a statement.

"Predictive analytics can help clients move beyond the 'sense and respond' mode, which can leave blind spots for strategic information in today's fast-paced environment—to 'predict and act' for improved business outcomes," said Goyal.

SPSS' customers include Credit Suisse, British Telecom, New York University, and HSBC Bank USA.

Separately, IBM said it has acquired Ounce Labs, a Waltham, Mass.-based maker of software that helps enterprises meet compliance and security requirements.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. IBM said it plans to integrate Ounce Labs' operations into its Rational software unit, where it will be added to the AppScan family of products.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on IBM's cloud computing strategy. Download the report here (registration required).

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