SAP AG, largest maker of enterprise-applications software, agreed to buy Ariba Inc. for $4.3 billion in the German company’s second multi-billion purchase in cloud computing to take on Oracle Corp.
SAP will pay $45 a share, or 20 percent more than Ariba’s May 21 closing price, Walldorf, Germany-based SAP said yesterday. The transaction, subject to approval by Ariba shareholders and regulators, will probably be completed by the end of August, SAP Chief Financial Officer Werner Brandt said on a conference call.
“There’s potential for other bidders to emerge,” said Richard Williams, an analyst at Cross Research in Livingston, New Jersey, who has a hold rating on SAP. “There’s a history of bidding wars between SAP and Oracle and this is exactly the kind of strategic company that would spark something like that.”
SAP bought Sybase Inc. for $5.8 billion in 2010 to bolster its database and mobile-computing offerings. It has also introduced a data-processing system called Hana, which competes with Oracle in database software.