IBM to Buy Netezza for Data Warehouse Analytics

IBM has set its sights on Netezza in a deal worth roughly $1.7 billion.

IBM has agreed to acquire data warehousing firm Netezza for approximately $1.7 billion.

The acquisition, which is subject to Netezza shareholder approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010. Netezza specializes in data warehouse analytics, and competes in the space with companies such as Teradata and Oracle. The move also follows EMC's purchase of Greenplum along similar lines earlier this year.

According to IBM, the buy will build on the existing relationship the companies have. Netezza designs and develops its appliances on IBM systems technology, and the two companies have been "strategic partners" for years, focusing on workload-optimized systems that "deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analyzing vast amounts of complex data."

"IBM is bringing analytics to the masses," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software and Systems, in a statement. "We continue to evolve our capabilities for systems integration, bringing together optimized hardware and software, in response to increasing demand for technology that delivers true business value. Netezza is a perfect example of this approach."

In the last four years, IBM said it has invested more than $12 billion in 23 analytics-related acquisitions. In its second quarter for 2010, revenues for IBM's analytics business grew 14 percent.

"Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base. Together, we have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering."

If the acquisition is approved, IBM plans to integrate Netezza within IBM's Information Management software portfolio. Netezza currently has some 500 employees around the world.