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Infor acquires Hansen to boost public sector presence

Move aimed at securing niche from rivals SAP and Oracle

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Midmarket applications vendor Infor Global Solutions plans its 30th acquisition with the purchase of public-sector applications provider Hansen Information Technologies.

The company will pay around $92m (£46m) for the government revenue asset management software firm, according to Jim Schaper, Infor's chairman and chief executive.

Infor hopes to close the deal before the middle of next month, Schaper said. Over the past 12 months, Hansen netted revenue of approximately $45m (£22.5m). Both firms are backed by the same private equity firm, Golden Gate Capital, and the sum Infor's paying also reflects the investments Golden Gate has made to date in Hansen, he added.

Like competitors Oracle and SAP, Infor sees industry-specific applications as a growing market. Each vendor has been building up specific expertise in vertical markets like government, retail, telecommunications and utilities primarily through acquisitions of smaller companies focused on those markets.

Infor intends to create an integrated suite of applications aimed at state and local governments, Schaper said. He hopes the suite will be a differentiator for Infor against SAP and Oracle. Infor will bring theHansen revenue asset management software together with the public-sector fruits of last year's acquisition of enterprise asset management company Datastream and the pending purchase of Canadian workforce management software vendor Workbrain, Schaper said. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, Infor expects to close the $227m (£113.5m) Workbrain purchase early next month.

Schaper did not provide a time frame for when the combined public-sector suite would become available, but noted that the integration of the three products would be easier given that they are based either on Sun's Java or Microsoft's .Net technologies.

Hansen has 470 customers in English-speaking countries around the world including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the US. The Datastream and Workbrain public-sector software are also mostly aimed at English-speaking customers. Infor has yet to decide whether it will internationalise the products, Schaper said.

As for other industry-specific markets where Infor may look to increase its presence, Schaper mentioned retail and services as possible future areas of focus.

Founded in 1983, Hansen has its headquarters in California and employs 350 staff. Infor has yet to determine the fate of those employees, but Schaper said he hopes to keep as much of Hansen's skill set intact as possible.

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