Business Objects Acquires ALG Software for $56M

The acquisition, expected to be completed by Q4, is designed to fill gaps in the BI leader's product portfolio.

Business intelligence provider Business Objects revealed Sept. 12 that it will acquire privately held Armstrong Laing—a provider of profitability management and activity-based costing solutions—for about $56 million in an all-cash transaction.

Armstrong Laing, based in Atlanta, is also known as ALG Software. Its BI offerings will help fill out the current Business Objects catalog.

The acquisition, subject to the usual regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, a Business Objects spokesperson said.

Total revenue for ALG Software was approximately $19 million for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2006.

On the other hand, Business Objects has been struggling as of late. The company posted on July 26 second-quarter earnings that fell short of initial guidance for software revenue, but that fell less than the giant business intelligence software maker had recently warned.

/zimages/2/28571.gifClick here to read more about Business Objects Q2 struggles.

Business Objects reported that its second-quarter net income plummeted to $7.9 million, or 8 cents per share, from $23.1 million, or 25 cents a share, for the same year-ago period.

And while total revenue for the quarter grew 12 percent to $294.5 million, license revenues fell 1 percent to $123.1 million.

Thus, the $56 million cash payout for ALG is a particularly significant one, considering the overall downturn in the companys financial status.

ALG Software is a global provider of EPM (enterprise performance management) software that is used for profitability management, activity-based costing, predictive planning and strategic business performance measurement.

The company has more than 400 customers worldwide, including American Express, British Airways, British Telecom, Heineken, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, U.S. Department of Labor and WHSmith.

ALG Softwares profitability management and activity-based costing solutions represent a fast-growing segment of the EPM market and complement the existing Business Objects EPM solutions, the Business Objects spokesperson said.

"By adding ALG Softwares profitability management solutions to our EPM and BI offerings, we will provide our customers with a powerful arsenal for building high-impact performance management solutions," said John Schwarz, CEO of Business Objects, based in both Paris and San Jose, Calif.

"The EPM market is in the midst of rapid change, and with this acquisition we will continue to play a leading role in shaping the market. This acquisition is another milestone in our long-term corporate strategy around EPM," he said.

/zimages/2/28571.gifBusiness Objects reveals a new suite of data quality tools and global services. Click here to read more.

The combination of Business Objects and ALG Software makes perfect sense, from both a company perspective and from the perspective of customers, said Mike Sheratt, founder and CEO of ALG Software.

"ALG Software brings to Business Objects a strong solutions portfolio, as well as talented management, development and sales teams with proven track records," Sheratt said.

Founded in 1990, ALG Software has its North American headquarters in Atlanta, with EMEA headquarters in Knutsford, U.K., and additional offices and agents worldwide.

Business Objects has more than 39,000 customers worldwide, including over 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Its frontline product is BusinessObjects XI, which offers performance management, planning, reporting, query and analysis, and enterprise information management.

BusinessObjects XI includes the Crystal line of reporting and data visualization software.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...