August 13, 2010 -  IBM and Unica Corporation have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Unica in a cash transaction at a price of $21 per share, or at a net price of approximately $480 million, after adjusting for cash.

 A publicly held company, Unica is expected to expand IBM's ability to help organizations analyze and predict customer preferences and develop more targeted marketing campaigns.

According to the announcement, with sophisticated analytics and marketing process improvement, the combination of IBM and Unica will help clients streamline and integrate key processes including relationship marketing, online marketing and marketing operations.   

Today's news expands IBM's growing portfolio of industry software solutions designed to help companies automate, manage, and accelerate core business processes across marketing, demand generation, sales, order processing and fulfillment.  This acquisition along with IBM's recent acquisitions of Sterling Commerce and Coremetrics will enhance IBM's ability to support customers increasing demands in this growing market.

"IBM understands the demands on today's organizations to transform core business processes in functions such as marketing with intelligence and automation," Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions, was quoted to say.  "Unica was a clear choice for IBM based on its power to automate a broad set of marketing capabilities and its established reputation for delivering customer success in marketing to organizations around the world."

David Raab, principle of Raab Associates and Information Management columnist commented that this acquisition news should not come as a surprise. “As the last and only big independent left in its space, Unica was obvious acquisition bait,” Raab said in his blog. “It was also a motivated seller, since it faced an increasingly impossible struggle to fund the product enhancements necessary to compete with the likes of SAS , Teradata  and Siebel/Oracle . Conversely, IBM is on a customer intelligence acquisition spree that has already included Coremetrics Web analytics, Sterling Commerce B2B integration and Cognos business analytics.”

Consolidation in the marketing automation space has been expected and is ongoing. Raab believes that now that there are so few B2C marketing automation vendors left, this acquisition may spur Web content management vendors to accelerate their own acquisition of marketing automation capabilities. Raab went on to predict future acquisitions in the B2B space: “The bottom line is probably that the upper tier B2B marketing automation vendors (Eloqua , Silverpop , Aprimo , possibly Marketbright ) are next in line to be bought.”

Unica's 500 employees will be integrated into IBM's Software Solutions Group.  Unica software will complement the capabilities of IBM's Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization - a team of 5,000 consultants and a network of analytics solution centers, backed by an overall investment of more than $11 billion in acquisitions in the last five years.

The acquisition, which is subject to Unica shareholder approval, applicable regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

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