A ‘Crystal’ Clear Purchase For Business Objects

Business intelligence software company Business Objects closed its purchase of fellow software maker Crystal
Decisions Thursday for $1.2 billion, a deal that effectively makes the France-based concern the largest supplier of the decision-assisting products.

The transaction, initially believed to be worth $820 million when it was announced in July, was approved by Business Objects shareholders at a meeting in Paris.

Business Object’s purchase, in which it will issue 26.8 million shares and will pay $307.6 million in cash to former Crystal shareholders, helps the company expand its product lines that customers use to make better decisions about their practices, products and personnel.

Other competitors in the sector include Cognos,
Hyperion, SAS and Actuate.

The deal comes a day after Mclean, Va.-based rival MicroStrategy filed
suit against Crystal, alleging patent infringements on three pieces of its technology. MicroStrategy is also embroiled in suits versus Business Objects as well.

“This acquisition creates the clear leader in business intelligence, with
the largest customer base, the strongest product line, and the highest
revenue in the sector,” said Bernard Liautaud, chairman and chief executive
officer, in a statement. Software applications will span reporting,
interactive query and analysis and enterprise performance management
products for scorecarding and dashboards, said Liautaud.

Business Objects plans to announce further details on the integration of
Crystal Decisions early in January. This will include a product roadmap; a
global roadshow for customers and partners; and an advertising campaign
running in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Japan.

Business Objects also announced its executive management team. Liautaud will
remain chairman and chief executive officer; John Olsen will be president
and chief operating officer; and Jim Tolonen, will serve as senior vice
president and chief financial officer.

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