Oracle to buy Micros for $5.3bn

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Oracle REUTERS Oracle signage is seen outside Mocsone Center during Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco, California.

Seattle - Oracle agreed to buy Micros Systems for $5.3 billion as chief executive Larry Ellison seeks to reignite slowing growth by adding software for hotels and restaurants.

Micros stockholders will get $68 a share in cash, 18 percent more than the closing price on June 16, a day before Bloomberg reported the companies were near a deal.

Net of Micros’s cash, the value is $4.6 billion, Oracle said in a statement today.

The Redwood City, California-based software maker came close to acquiring Micros six years ago only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Oracle, which has acquired about 100 companies in the last decade, has seen the incremental revenue gains accrued through those deals dry up.

After a late entry to the cloud-computing market, sales have declined or gained less than 5 percent in each of the past 11 quarters as customers gravitate to rivals selling Internet-based software.

Last week, Oracle posted profit and sales that missed analysts’ estimates.

“Micros gives them a strong foothold in the hotel and hospitality industry,” said Richard Williams, an analyst at Summit Research Partners in Summit, New Jersey, who recommends holding Oracle’s stock.

“That will be an important asset for them and will tie well into their other systems such as their engineer systems and cloud-related offerings.”

Oracle’s shares rose less than 1 percent to $41.07 at 1:04 pm in New York, after slumping 4 percent on June 20 following the disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report.

Micros, which closed at $65.77 on June 20, jumped to $67.97.

 

Largest Since 2010

 

 

The deal, expected to close in the second half, will add to Oracle’s earnings immediately, excluding some items, chief financial officer Safra Catz said in the statement.

The acquisition would be Oracle’s largest since the $5.7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, expects more acquisitions after the Micros purchase.

“It’s clear they need to do deals on the horizon in order to accelerate growth,” said Ives, who rates Oracle’s shares outperform. “They were late to the cloud.”

Oracle has almost $39 billion of cash and marketable securities, Catz said on a conference call last week.

 

Systems for Hotels

 

Based in Columbia, Maryland, Micros sells point-of-sale systems for hotels, restaurants, and retailers.

Six years ago, Micros Chairman Tom Giannopoulos, who was chief executive at the time, flew from Maryland to California to sign a deal with Oracle, only to have the transaction fall through, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.

Dealmaking in the technology space is accelerating as established software companies try to navigate the shift to cloud computing and fend off challenges from new competitors.

This month, SanDisk agreed to buy Fusion-io, which provides storage to Facebook and Apple, for about $1.1 billion.

Oracle has long been an acquisition machine under Ellison, who is worth $46.6 billion and ranks eighth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

He led Oracle Team USA to victory in the America’s Cup last year and agreed in 2012 to buy most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for an undisclosed sum.

 

Diversifying Deals

 

As rivals including Salesforce.com that specialise in cloud computing have risen to the fore, Oracle has turned to purchasing firms that make software for specific industries, such as retail and hospitality, to diversify its offerings.

Oracle has spent $50 billion to acquire about 100 companies in the past decade.

Of those, more than 20 have been geared at specific industries, including the 2010 acquisition of clinical-trial software maker Phase Forward, and purchases of retailer-software makers ProfitLogic and Retek in 2005.

In December, Oracle agreed to buy marketing-software maker Responsys for about $1.5 billion to court chief marketing officers.

Micros’s revenue totalled $1.29 billion in its fiscal 2013 and it has been growing in the low double-digit range for the past three years.

The company is projected to generate $1.37 billion in fiscal 2014, which ends late this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Micros, which had more than 6,300 employees as of 2012, said on its website that more than 330,000 of its systems are installed in table and quick service restaurants, motels, hotels, casinos and other locations in more than 180 countries.

Peter Altabef, a former Dell executive, has been chief executive of Micros since January 2013 and Giannopoulos is now the chairman. - Bloomberg News



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