SAP's Proposed SuccessFactors Acquisition Clears Regulatory Hurdle

SAP's proposed $3.4 billion acquisition of cloud application vendor SuccessFactors Inc. has cleared a critical hurdle after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Tuesday granted an early termination of the Hart-Rodino Act waiting period.

The FTC decision means the deal is unlikely to face opposition from U.S. anti-trust regulators.

SAP and SuccessFactors announced Dec. 3 that Waldorf, Germany-based SAP would acquire the developer of on-demand human capital management applications for $40 per share or $3.4 billion, minus cash and debt. The companies at the time said they expected to complete the acquisition sometime in the first quarter of 2012.

Along with providing SAP with a cloud-based HR application set, SAP executives have said the acquisition will bring needed cloud software expertise to the company, which largely sells on-premise applications.

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The early termination of the HSR Act waiting period satisfies one of the conditions of the SAP share-purchase offer, SAP said in a statement Tuesday. During the waiting period the FTC could have asked for more information about the deal or even launched a more lengthy investigation that could have delayed the acquisition.

SAP and SuccessFactors also have filed a "joint voluntary notice" with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., which also must review the proposed acquisition. CFIUS scrutinizes proposed acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign businesses to ensure such deals don't pose a threat to national security.