In the biggest deal since it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.4 billion, Oracle has agreed to buy Micros Systems for about $5.3 billion. The Columbia, Maryland-based Micros provides software
for retailers and hospitality providers.
The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this year, values Micros shares at $68 each, slightly higher than its closing price of $65.77 on Friday. The Columbia, Maryland-based acquisition markets toward restaurants, casinos and retail shops with management and back-end software.
The purchase puts Oracle into a new market at a time when some analysts have been advising that the tech giant begin aggressively gaining access to new areas of business technology.
Oracle President Mark Hurd said in a statement accompanying the announcement that the company "has successfully helped customers across multiple industries harness the power of cloud, mobile, social, big data and the Internet of things to transform their businesses." He added that the acquisition will help deliver "compelling advantages to companies within the Hospitality and Retail Industries."
Founded in 1977, Micros said its software runs on more than 330,000 sites in 180 countries. It provides integrated front office, back office, central and Web-based solutions designed to improve workflows and customer service, via app, Net, IPTV, call centers and kiosks.
For hotels and resorts, the company's solutions include front office, back office, CRM, sales, catering, revenue management, reservations, and distribution, with more than 1,000 interfaces to external systems.
Its food and beverage products and service include point-of-sale, enterprise and consumer-facing solutions, for full-service restaurants, quick service, bars and nightclubs, hotel food service, and chain operations. Casino management includes property management, retail operations, hotel operations and integrated restaurant management solutions, plus gaming software that tracks comps.
'Nonstop Buying Spree'
Other industries where Micros provides its management software and service include cruise lines, government, stadiums and arenas, and theme parks.
"They're branching out and pursuing a strategy of diversification," said Information Technology Intelligence Consulting analyst Laura DiDio. She added that "[CEO] Larry Ellison has been on a nonstop shopping spree for the last 10 years," spending almost $50 billion on acquisitions.
But, DiDio told us, "the revenue gains he's gotten from these deals has fizzled out -- just look at Sun." She added that, by entering a "pretty strong" market like hotel and hospitality, Oracle not only gets entries for its database and other products in established industries, but the acquisition also "gives him another entry point into the cloud" -- and Oracle had been "late for the cloud party."
This acquisition bookends a purchase Oracle announced Friday, the acquisition of LiveLOOK, which provides co-browsing and screen-sharing technology. That cloud-based service allows a customer or sales agents to guide customers and would-be customers through screens on the Web or in mobile environments.
That move helped boost Oracle's customer experience chops, at a time when other competitors, like Salesforce, are continually improving their ability to help customers come aboard and stay aboard.