IBM announces five-year acquisition plan

IBM, which has made several acquisitions in the first quarter, has announced that it plans to continue down the acquisition trail.

Big Blue plans to...

IBM, which has made several acquisitions in the first quarter, has announced that it plans to continue down the acquisition trail.

Big Blue plans to spend $20bn on such deals in the next five years, Sam Palmisano, chief executive at IBM has told Wall Street analysts.

IBM spent more than $1bn in the first quarter on mostly smaller companies, including Cast Iron Systems, to provide IBM with new technologies to spur growth.

Analysts expect IBM to concentrate on boosting its capabilities in software, analytics, software-as-a-service and other cloud-based services.

IBM has hoarded cash through the downturn, along with other large tech companies such as SAP, Google, CA and Oracle, which have all racked up several acquisitions in the first three months of 2010.

Palmisano has overseen more than 100 acquisitions during his time as chief executive, according to the Financial Times.

The largest of those was the $3.5bn purchase of PwC Consulting in 2002, followed by the $1.3bn purchase of Internet Security Systems in 2006.

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