IBM Buys SPSS for $1.2bn

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IBM today purchased SPSS for about $1.2 billion in cash.
Tech Crunch has more:

IBM is buying analytics software and solutions provider SPSS in an all cash transaction at a price of $50/share – a 42 percent premium to Monday’s closing price of $35.09 on Nasdaq – resulting in a total cash consideration in the merger of approximately $1.2 billion. The acquisition is subject to SPSS shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and other closing conditions, and is expected to close later in the second half of 2009.

Big Blue said the acquisition of the publicly-held Chicago company was expected to strengthen its information-agenda initiative, which helps companies take information and turn it into a strategic asset. IBM shares fell 67 cent to $116.96 in pre-market trading, while SPSS shares jumped 41 percent to $49.59.

The article quotes SPSS Chairman/CEO Jack Noonan as saying that with IBM, SPSS will “advance Predictive Analytics as a competitive advantage for companies and organizations worldwide.” The buyout is “a transformative event that will accelerate the adoption of Predictive Analytics.”

I’m not sure about that, but the move is within IBM’s traditional strategy of growing its software business. Wonder who’s next in mergermania?