IBM expands analytics with $1.7 billion Netezza buy

Netezza's high-performance analytics capabilities will be added to IBM's offerings

Expanding its business analytics offerings yet again, IBM is acquiring data warehouse appliance vendor Netezza for approximately $US1.7 billion in cash.

The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement calling for IBM to purchase Netezza stock in cash, for $US27 per share, the companies jointly announced Monday.

"Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base," said Steve Mills, an IBM Software and Systems senior vice president and group executive, in a statement.

Over the last four years, IBM has spent more than $US12 billion to acquire 23 analytics related companies.

IBM sees Netezza as a strategic asset and hopes to expand the use of business analytics within its customer base, the company asserted. In a survey of CIO's, IBM had found that 83 percent had identified analytics as a top priority. The company has dedicated over 6,000 consultants to analytics services.

Netezza offers data warehouse appliances that the company has claimed are fast and easy to deploy. A partner with IBM for several years, Netezza has built its appliances using IBM software and hardware. IBM will fold Netezza's products within IBM's Information Management software portfolio.

"The addition of Netezza will reinforce IBM's focus in understanding clients' needs by providing them a broader set of analytics capabilities and bringing the power of analytics right into the hands of business users at every level within an organization," said Arvind Krishna, Information Management, IBM information management general manager.

With over 500 employees worldwide, Netezza has approximately 350 enterprise users, including eHarmony, Estee Lauder, Nationwide Insurance, Neiman Marcus, Time Warner, Virgin Media and others.

The acquisition is subject to Netezza shareholder approval and regulatory clearances, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter, IBM said.

(IDG News Service editor Marc Ferranti contributed to this story.)

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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