Oracle Buys ATG For $1 Billion

Oracle is back on the M&A trail, agreeing to acquire e-commerce specialist ATG for $1 billion.
Author:
Publish date:

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

has taken a break from

haranguing

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

to throw open its corporate coffers, agreeing to acquire e-commerce specialist

Art Technology Group (ATG)

(ARTG)

for $1 billion.

Oracle, which had $23.6 billion of cash and investments at the end of its

recent first quarter

, has been on something of an acquisition tear in recent years,

grabbing Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion

and spending $8.5 billion on

BEA Systems

. The ATG deal, however, marks Ellison's desire to challenge

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

in specialized business software.

IBM, which recently bought data warehousing specialist

Netezza

(NZ)

for $1.7 billion, has acquired more than 23 business analytics companies in the last five years and is obsessed with selling

high-margin software services.

In a statement, Oracle said that ATG's e-commerce software is a good fit for its own customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail and supply chain offerings.

"Organizations across many industries are looking for a unified commerce and CRM platform to provide a seamless experience across all commerce channels," explained Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of development at Oracle.

Former

HP

(HPQ) - Get Report

CEO Mark Hurd, now Oracle president, recently said that there are big opportunities to sell additional software in industries such as finance, telecom and insurance, particularly around ERP, which aims to give companies an overview of their IT infrastructure.

The ATG deal, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close by early 2011.

Oracle's latest M&A also provides a distraction from the company's ongoing legal battle with SAP, which hit the courts this week. The database maker is

seeking substantial damages from SAP

after accusing the firm of stealing its software.

Jury selection in the case at the U.S. District Court in Oakland took place on Monday, with opening arguments expected on Tuesday. Oracle is seeking more than $2.3 billion in damages from SAP, though the German firm says a settlement in the "tens of millions

of dollars, at most," would be fair.

Oracle shares rose 22 cents, or 0.76%, to $29.35 on Tuesday, mirroring the broader advance in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 0.84%.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers

.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:

tips@thestreet.com