German software giant SAP is acquiring the Israeli software house

TopTier

for $400 million in cash. The agreement is subject to antitrust approval.

TopTier CEO Shai Agassi refuses to disclose details on the company's performance in the first quarter but states that it didn't feel the slowdown. TopTier's revenues in 2000 came to $20 million, one-third of which was posted in the fourth quarter. Agassi does say that in the first quarter, TopTier came very close to achieving operating balance.

TopTier has acted as SAP's business ally since 1999. Its technology has already been incorporated in SAP's mySAP Workplace.

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The Israeli company will become a fully-owned subsidiary of SAP. The accord is expected to be finalized during the second quarter.

TopTier was established in 1996 by Reuben Agassi and his son Shai. Three years ago the Baan brothers bought 50% of TopTier's equity according to a company value of $100 million. Later they increased their holding in the company.

TopTier provides solutions for data-overloaded enterprises. The company addresses the problem by unifying internal and external databases on a single platform for use by the enterprise employees, operating through a portal interface.

The company is controlled by the Baan brothers and the Warburg fund. CEO Shai Agassi retains a minority interest. TopTier's R&D center in Ra'anana employs 125 people. Its customer list includes SAP, Baan and Hewlett Packard.

TopTier had planned to go public on Nasdaq in mid-2000 at a company value of $500 million. The company ultimately filed a draft prospectus for a $44 million IPO at a company value of $330 million.