Oracle has stepped in to try to snatch retail business software provider Retek from under SAP’s nose.
The Retek board has already accepted a £275m offer for the company from SAP but Oracle has now put in a higher bid of £292my.
US-based Retek provides an integrated retail application suite to more than 200 customers in over 20 countries around the world. Users include Abercrombie & Fitch, Bhs, Gap, New Look, Dixons, FNAC, Ingram Micro and the US Postal Service.
When tabling its offer for Retek last week, SAP said the retail industry is entering a new phase of packaged software adoption, as retailer companies are increasingly considering IT as a strategic instrument to drive business growth.
SAP said the combination of Retek’s application portfolio, industry expertise and market presence would allow it to respond to this demand.
But Oracle, already a close business partner of Retek and shareholder in the company, sees the acquisition of Retek as an ideal way to take a big step ahead of SAP in the US retail market.
Oracle recently increased its shareholding in Retek to around 10% of the company.
"Oracle's applications business in North America is larger than SAP's," said Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison. "We intend to defend our number one position."
Oracle president Charles Phillips said, "The Retek customers I have talked to said they would prefer that Oracle buy Retek. The vast majority of Retek customers already have a strong Oracle relationship."