SSA Global Tech Acquires Baan

With the acquisition, SSA has more than 16,500 customers-almost double its 10,000 customers-and nearly $610 million in combined revenues, with $160 million from combined license fees.

Making headway in the fast consolidating enterprise resource planning market, software and services firm SSA Global Technologies Inc. announced Monday that it closed on its acquisition of Baan, a division of Invensys Plc., which was announced last month.

Baan develops ERP applications for discrete manufacturers in the industrial machinery and equipment, electronics, automotive and aerospace and defense markets.

SSA, of Chicago, makes ERP software for manufacturing and the public sector.

An independent software company for more than 20 years, Baan fell on hard times several years ago as its competitors in the ERP business experienced their biggest boon in decades.

In August of 2000 Invensys, of Herndon, Va., stepped in and purchased the ailing company, vowing a turnaround.

After some wrangling with its own identity, Invensys last year underwent a major restructuring, selling off a third of its business and keeping Baan as one of its core initiatives moving forward.

The effort, it seems, did not pay off.

Effective today, Baan is a wholly owned subsidiary of SSA.

While the sales, marketing and development functions will retain some autonomy, Baans IT, financial, legal and human resource departments will integrate with SSA.

With the acquisition, SSA has more than 16,500 customers—almost double its 10,000 customers—and nearly $610 million in combined revenues, with $160 million from combined license fees.

The acquisition gives SSA a deeper global presence and a balanced geographical reach, company officials said. It will also help SSA compete in the upper echelon of ERP deals—should it be successful in getting the Baan message across.

"[SSA] has to do a better job of marketing Baan than Invensys ever did," said Jennifer Chew, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc, in Cambridge, Mass. "The consensus among analysts is that [Baan] has a pretty good product but its had a hard time getting its name out there beyond the fact that, no, were not going to go under."

Mike Greenough, president, chairman and CEO at SSA said both Baan and SSA customers will benefit from enhanced extension solutions in areas such as logistics, supply chain management, corporate performance management and integration.

A current executive vice president at SSA, Graeme Cooksley will move over to the Baan subsidiary to serve as president.