A war for cloud software may be beginning.
Oracle (ORCL) announced Thursday that it has agreed to buy NetSuite (N) for $9.3 billion, or $109 per share, in cash. The evaluation and negotiation of the deal was led by a special committee of Oracle's board of directors.
Shares of NetSuite rallied about 18% Thursday afternoon to $108.20, while Oracle was down slightly to $40.88 a share.
For Redwood City, Calif.-based Oracle, the buyout of NetSuite represents its biggest transaction in over a decade and once again highlights its ambition for cloud software.
The potential tie-up between Oracle and NetSuite had been rumored in the market for years. The acquisition makes strategic sense for the buyer, which had been wanting to expand its footprint in enterprise resource planning, or ERP, explained Piper Jaffary analyst Alex Zukin via phone.
NetSuite is an obvious way for Oracle to reach its goal of pulling in $10 billion in cloud software revenue, he added. (Salesforce.com (CRM) has publicly talked about the same goal for years.)
On the buyer side, the $9.3 billion check Oracle is putting on the table for NetSuite could change the software chess board. SAP (SAP) , for instance, has been largely silent as its peers Oracle and Salesforce.com have actively pursued dealmaking and may now feel even more pressure to make a move.