Sage to Buy Interact for $263M

The Sage Group plc, a UK-based supplier of business management solutions and services to SMEs, Wednesday (March 28) announced plans to acquire CRM vendor Interact (NASDAQ: IACT) for $12 a share in an all-cash deal valued at $263 million (£183 million).

Interact, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., sells CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software targeted at small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Interact has two products: ACT! targeted at small businesses; and SalesLogix targeted at medium-sized businesses.

“The acquisition of Interact presents Sage with significant opportunities,” said Sage CEO Paul Walker. “Interact is a strong business in its own right and gives us a leading position in the strategically important CRM market. We are confident that Sage’s global presence and channel strength will open up additional opportunities for Interact’s products in both new and existing markets.”

CRM software enables businesses to capture and analyze relevant customer data at all points of interaction between the company and its customers. It helps businesses generate increased revenues through more effective sales and marketing, improve customer retention by enhancing customer service; and reduce costs by making internal processes more efficient.

Sage’s accounting systems already store and process customer data, such as contact details and records of past transactions. By integrating Sage’s accounting systems with Interact’s CRM software, SMEs will be able to take a unified view of their customers and thereby further increase revenues and improve business efficiency.

Since its inception in 1993, Interact has built up a significant presence in the SME CRM software market. To date, ACT! has sold over 3.2 million individual licences, while SalesLogix has in excess of 3,500 corporate customers.

The deal is expected to close in May 2001.

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