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Ascential To Buy Mercator For $106M

Ascential Software, a data integration specialist, is buying Mercator Software for about $106 million in cash, both companies said Monday morning.

The combined company will be "the largest ISV exclusively focused on enterprise data integration," said Peter Gyenes, chairman and CEO of Ascential, the Westboro, Mass., company noted for its meta data management, analysis and data profiling software.

Mercator, Wilton, Conn., is known for its realtime data integration. The combined company will have more than $250 million in annual revenue and more than 3,000 customers, Gyenes said in a conference call Monday morning. The cash tender is worth about $3 per outstanding share of Mercator.

The combined company will have the size and scope needed to be a major player in the market, Gyenes said.

Mercator competes with Tibco, webMethods and other EAI players, as well as internal corporate development, said Roy King, chairman and CEO of Mercator.

"This gives Ascential an entry into the EAI and B2B Integration space, including a considerable isntalled base, paritculalry in the financial and health-care verticals," said Shawn Willett, analyst at research firm Current Analysis. "Although it had a proprietary foundation, Mercator has been moving in the direction of a more open standards-based integration platform. Ascential will have to continue that work. This will allow Ascential to offer combined products that allow users to aggregate historial database/datamart and transactional integration information into business-activity montiroing types of applications--a new area."

Data integration, data cleansing and analytics have been hot spots even in a down economy, as corporations try to reap the most return from existing databases and back office applications. That means mining and utilizing up-to-date and accurate information (see story).

But a growing number of companies are fighting for those precious dollars as giants like IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle build more analytics and integartion into their core offerings.

Ascential has its roots in Informix, the venerable database company. Gyenes split that company into two businesses and sold the Informix database--and name--to IBM two years ago.

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