India's HCL Technologies, Equity Firm Acquire Database Maker Actian

Hybrid data management Actian developed the world’s fastest columnar analytics database and brings special data-centric IP to its new owners.


India-based HCL Technologies and Sumeru Equity Partners, a technology and growth-focused private equity firm, revealed April 12 that they put together a joint venture to acquire data management software maker Actian Corp.

The all-cash transaction is valued at $330 million, HCL said. HCL will own 80 percent and SEP 20 percent of Action in the joint venture. 

HCL is one of India's original IT garage start-ups. It introduced of the 8-bit microprocessor-based computer in 1978, well before its global peers. HCL’s three businesses are HCL Infosystems, HCL Technologies and HCL Healthcare.

The enterprise generates annual revenues of more than $8 billion with more than 120,000 employees from 140 nationalities operating across 39 countries, including over 500 points of presence in India.

What Actian Makes

Actian makes a number of products, among them an edge-embedded database that can run on a simple ARM processor to perform IoT-type data-gathering functions.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company, which has been in business since 1980, owns other products such as Actian Vector, which it describes as the world’s fastest columnar database; Actian DataConnect, a hybrid cloud data integration platform; and Actian X, hybrid database for next generation operational analytics. 

“We‘re in the hybrid data management business, all about extracting relevant information from data, mostly for Fortune 500 companies,” Action CEO Rohit De Souza told eWEEK. “We manage databases, columnar engines, integration, et cetera, all around the management of information and the extraction of value from information.”

Actian will play an important role in enhancing HCL’s Mode 3 offerings in data management products and platforms, HCL President and CEO C Vijayakumar said in a media advisory. 

How Actian Will Fit HCL's Plans

“Actian’s products when combined with HCL’s Mode 2 solution offerings, like Cloud Native, Digital and Analytics, and DRYICE, ­­will be a powerful proposition to harness the power of hybrid data,” Vijayakumar said. 

SEP sees growth opportunity for data-centric companies, which is why it chose to partner with HCL Technologies in acquiring Actian.

Actian will continue to operate as a separate entity within the HCL Technologies ecosystem, led by De Souza. 

“The most successful business leaders today recognize data as their most valuable asset and strive to leverage it at the speed of their business, no matter where it resides,” De Souza said. “The combined force of HCL’s next-generation products, platforms and services; SEP’s experience in scaling enterprise software businesses; and Actian’s tradition of innovation in data management, data analytics, and integration technologies will enable customers to tap into the disruptive potential of their data and deliver tangible business results.”

SEP managing directors George Kadifa, former head of Hewlett-Packard software, and Sanjeet Mitra will also join the board at closing.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...