SAP Buys Into the Cloud

ERP provider sheds M&A shyness with $3.4 bln purchase of SuccessFactors.

SAP AG’s then-chief Leo Apotheker told investors in 2009 that the German company’s homegrown technology was “significantly better” than that of Oracle Corp., which had “not done a good job with acquisitions.”

Apotheker was forced to leave three months later and his successors, co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, have already spent more than $9 billion on two major takeovers. The most recent came on Saturday, when SAP agreed to buy San Mateo, California-based SuccessFactors Inc. for $3.4 billion in cash to catch up with Oracle in the cloud-computing market.

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