New SAP regime moves to acquire Sybase

Software makers to merge under $5.8B deal

SAP America Inc., a subsidiary of Germany’s SAP, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sybase Inc., of Dublin, Calif., in an all-cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of Sybase common stock at $65 per share, representing a value of about $5.8 billion.

The transaction will bring together two information technology providers and enable them to become better-run “unwired enterprises,” according to an announcement SAP made May 12.

The per-share purchase price represents a 44 percent premium over the three-month average price for Sybase stocks, SAP officials said.

The transaction will be funded from SAP’s cash on hand and a 2.75 billion euro loan facility arranged and underwritten by Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank.

In February, SAP shook up its top-level leadership when it replaced Chief Executive Officer Leo Apotheker with two co-CEOs: Bill McDermott, who had led the company's field organization, and Jim Hagemann Snabe, head of product development.

SAP, one of the largest suppliers of enterprise software, and Sybase will benefit from synergies across product lines and markets, and the merger will expand opportunities for both, according to the SAP statement.

SAP will accelerate its reach across mobile platforms, while the company's in-memory technology will provide the opportunity for dramatic performance improvements to Sybase's analytic processing capabilities, officials said.

According to an article on Bloomberg.com, “With Sybase, SAP adds software that helps corporate customers run applications on mobile devices. Three months into their tenure, McDermott and Snabe are using acquisitions to reverse the sales slump that led to the departure of their predecessor."

“This is a stake in the ground for the new regime to make a claim for some headlines, drama and a pretty good business case for buying the company,” Joshua Greenbaum, principal of research firm Enterprise Applications Consulting, told the news service. “McDermott and Snabe are saying, ‘Here we are.’”

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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