Oracle has agreed to buy NetSuite, the cloud applications company that Oracle founder Larry Ellison has a significant stake in. The transaction is valued at approximately $9bn.
The acquisition seems in line with Oracle's avowed fundamental shift to cloud as a delivery mode for its business applications, trumpeted at Oracle OpenWorld 2015.
Evan Goldberg, founder, chief technology officer and chairman, at NetSuite said in a statement: "NetSuite has been working for 18 years to develop a single system for running a business in the cloud. This combination is a winner for NetSuite's customers, employees and partners."
Zach Nelson, the to-be-acquired company's CEO said: "NetSuite will benefit from Oracle's global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of our cloud solutions in more industries and more countries".
NetSuite's UK customers include Orlebar Brown, a swimming shorts, and other beachwear retailer, and Trunki, who make luggage for children. It provides a suite of cloud-based financials, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and omnichannel commerce software for more than 30,000 companies, organisations, and subsidiaries over 100 countries.
For more about Oracle's acquisition history
2009: Oracle Corporation buys Sun Microsystems in a deal worth $9.50 a share, valuing Sun at over $7 billion
2009: Oracle's MySQL buy shifts open source database market
2008: Oracle buys BEA, but the app dev and SOA suites were still conflict
NetSuite, founded in 1998, in part with $125m from Ellison, was one of the first software-as-a-service companies, and has offered competition, especially among small and medium enterprises, to Salesforce.com, founded by former Oracle executive Mark Benioff in 1999.
Enterprise software analyst Vinnie Mirchandani said of NetSuite earlier this year that it had, in his view, particular strengths in the retail industry, "especially in support for omni-channel commerce. At this event [the supplier's SuiteWorld conference], I saw that extended to omni-business-model -- any product, any service and any subscription as-a-service. Add to that NetSuite's multi-national strengths, SuiteCloud Platform PaaS capabilities, and partner diversity and you can see how its solutions are attractive to a wide number of industries".
Mirchandani saw the supplier lacking in "more industry specific operational modules", but he said: "At this stage, I believe NetSuite has one of the most evolved industry strategies in the cloud application world".
Mark Hurd, co-CEO at Oracle, described Oracle's and NetSuite's cloud applications as "complementary" and added they "will coexist in the marketplace forever".
His fellow co-CEO, Safra Catz, said she expected the acquisition to be "immediately accretive to Oracle's earnings" in the "first full fiscal year after closing".
Until the transaction closes, Oracle and NetSuite will continue to operate independently.