Infor to buy SoftBrands for $80 million

The pending acquisition will give the ERP vendor new strengths in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors

ERP (enterprise resource planning) vendor Infor and its investor, Golden Gate Capital, have formed a holding company to buy SoftBrands in a US$80 million deal that will further expand Infor's sprawling, acquisition-driven portfolio.

While not the largest in terms of dollars, the pending deal, announced Friday, is nonetheless interesting from a market perspective, analysts said.

For one thing, it flies in the face of back-channel talk from Infor's competitors that the privately held vendor was short on cash and unable to make more acquisitions, according to Forrester Research analyst Ray Wang.

In addition, SoftBrands has "anything you would need to run a hotel, spa and entertainment business," giving Infor potential new inroads into the hospitality vertical, Wang said.

In many cases, such businesses have employed a range of custom applications, according to Wang. And although the global recession has battered the hospitality industry overall, "people are looking to wring out some costs from their systems" by consolidating technologies, he said.

SoftBrands also sells the Fourth Shift ERP application, which "has a fairly extensive installed base among small and midsize manufacturing firms," said Frank Scavo, managing partner of the Irvine, California, consulting firm Strativa, on his Enterprise System Spectator blog.

Fourth Shift has a partnership with Infor's rival, SAP, wherein it provides manufacturing capabilities to customers of SAP's Business One application, Scavo added.

"Whether SAP is going to be willing to extend this relationship with Infor going forward remains to be seen," he said.

Meanwhile, SoftBrands' customers shouldn't expect major upheaval or changes from Infor's end, according to Wang.

Infor's general strategy has been to buy companies with large installed bases, make them comfortable and then begin pitching them on newer products over time, according to Wang.

The vendor now has roughly $2.2 billion in revenue and some 70,000 customers.

In many instances, the acquired customer bases have had their systems in place for many years, and "aren't looking for bleeding-edge functionality overnight," Wang said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ERPInformergers & acquistions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?