IBM agrees to buy Cognos for $5 billion

Acquisition marks the loss of one of the last remaining large independent BI vendors

In a year that saw most of the large independent business intelligence vendors snapped up by bigger companies, Cognos was one of the few left standing... until IBM on Monday announced plans to acquire the Ottawa-based company for $5 billion.

The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Cognos in an all-cash deal expected to close in the first quarter of 2008. The deal comes on the heels of SAP announcing last month plans to acquire Cognos rival Business Objects SA, and Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion in a deal it closed in April.

The acquisition of Cognos supports IBM's Information on Demand strategy, IBM said, because integrating Cognos tools under the project will provide new business insight into a broader set of users that those who traditionally have used BI tools.

"Customers are demanding complete solutions, not piece parts, to enable real-time decision making," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software Group, in a statement. "Our broad set of capabilities -- from data warehousing to information integration and analytics -- together with Cognos, position us well for the changing business intelligence and performance management industry."

Following completion of the acquisition, IBM said it plans to integrate Cognos into its Information Management Software divisions. Rob Ashe, Cognos' current president and CEO, will lead the group.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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