Business Objects to acquire Crystal Decisions

Business Objects has agreed to acquire Crystal Decisions in a $820m cash and stock deal, which will create a one-stop shop for...

Business Objects has agreed to acquire Crystal Decisions in a $820m cash and stock deal, which will create a one-stop shop for business intelligence software products.

"The combined company will be number one in each of the main markets it serves," Business Objects chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Liautaud claimed.

Business Objects specialises in ad hoc querying, reporting and analysis tools, while Crystal Decisions focuses on enterprise reporting.

With little overlap in the product lines, both companies' offerings will continue to be supported after the takeover and the combined sales team will sell all products, Liautaud said.

"Today the products have little overlap, but in the long term both product teams have plans to overlap each other. We will reorganise the research and development energies to . . . drive them to new products in new areas of business intelligence that have potential," Liautaud said.

Crystal Decisions president and CEO Jon Judge said combining his company with Business Objects accomplishes "almost every strategic imperative". "This is the defining moment for the business intelligence industry," he added.

The deal, expected to close in the fourth quarter and subject to customary conditions such as shareholder and regulatory approval, should also result in about $25m in cost savings next year.

Business Objects is seen by Gartner analysts as the business intelligence market bellwether, and Crystal Decisions is seen as a strong vendor.

Business Objects also announced preliminary results on Friday for the second quarter, ending 30 June. The company expects revenue to be in the range of $127m to $129m.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service

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