SAP Acquires E-Commerce Vendor Hybris

Many regard the purchase as an attempt to compete with Salesforce.com.


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Enterprise software vendor SAP has bought Switzerland-based Hybris AG, an e-commerce software developer. The purchase may help SAP compete more effectively against Salesforce.com.

The Wall Street Journal's Michael Hickins reported, "SAP AG said Wednesday it is acquiring Hybris, the Zug, Switzerland-based vendor of e-commerce technology used by companies that run consumer-facing websites. The companies did not disclose terms of the transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2013."

According to Quentin Hardy with The New York Times, "The price was not disclosed, but someone familiar with the deal who was not authorized to speak on the record, said SAP paid 'somewhat less than $1 billion' for hybris. The deal follows Tuesday’s announcement by Salesforce.com that it was acquiring ExactTarget, an online marketing services company, for close to $2.5 billion. Not surprisingly, many industry analysts wanted to make a connection between the two deals."

Bloomberg BusinessWeek's Cornelius Rahn noted, "Taking over Hybris will help SAP expand its presence in the $37 billion e-commerce technology market, SAP said, citing industry analysts’ estimates. SAP’s sales from so-called customer relationship management software, or CRM, grew just 0.1 percent last year, dropping the German company to number two behind San Francisco-based Salesforce.com, which grew 26 percent, research firm Gartner Inc. said in April. 'We fully wish to unleash the will of SAP on the CRM market place and the competitors that decide to go against us,' SAP co-Chief Executive Officer Bill McDermott said on a conference call. 'This is going to be fun.'"

Peter Sheldon with Forbes observed, "With this acquisition, the enterprise commerce technology landscape is now dominated by four large software companies: SAP, IBM, Oracle and eBay. There are other smaller players, notably: Demandware, Digital River and Intershop, all of which have long been publicly traded. The acquisition of hybris brings to a close a multi-billion-dollar, three-year spell of intensive M&A and IPO activity in the enterprise commerce technology space. There will be future acquisitions for sure, but there are few independent vendors left now."

Tags: ecommerce, enterprise software, SAP, e-commerce, Salesforce.com, merger and acquistion activity

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