IBM will buy business intelligence software supplier Cognos for about £2.5bn.
The buyout will complete in the first quarter of 2008, pending approval from Cognos shareholders and US regulators.
IBM said the move would strengthen its Information on Demand suite of products, which covers information integration, content and data management and business consulting services.
This is the 23rd acquisition by IBM in support of its Information on Demand strategy. "Customers are demanding complete solutions, not piece parts, to enable real-time decision making," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group.
"Our broad set of capabilities - from data warehousing to information integration and analytics - together with Cognos, position us well for the changing business intelligence and performance management industry."
Consolidation has been rife in the BI market. Earlier this year Cognos also bought the much smaller performance management software supplier Applix. Oracle purchased Hyperion, while Cartesis and ALG Software were bought by Business Objects, which in turn is now being acquired by SAP.
IBM intends to integrate Cognos into its information management software division when the deal closes. IBM rival Hewlett-Packard offers a business intelligence and data warehousing platform built using products from Cognos and it is unclear how the current news will affect its users.