IBM To Acquire Cognos For $5 Billion

IBM is acquiring Cognos, the last major publicly held business intelligence software vendor, for $5 billion, the two companies announced Monday.

The move comes near the end of a year that has seen major consolidation in the business intelligence arena, including Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion earlier this year and SAP's pending U.S. $6.8 billion acquisition of Business Objects.

The companies expect to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of 2008.

Ottawa-based Cognos will become a group within IBM's Information Management Software Division with Cognos president and CEO Rob Ashe leading the group and reporting to division general manager Ambuj Goyal. That appears to follow the same model SAP is following in keeping Business Objects a relatively independent operation.

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IBM said Cognos' business intelligence and performance management applications were a good fit with its "Information on Demand" strategy, the company's effort to unite its information integration and data and content management technologies. Cognos is IBM's 23rd acquisition in support of that plan.

The acquisition of Cognos by a big company like IBM comes as little surprise, given the wave of similar acquisitions by Oracle, SAP and others this year. IBM had long been rumored to be a potential suitor and already has integrated many Cognos products and jointly offer eight pre-integrated BI solutions.