Oracle buys Advanced Visual Technology

Oracle has bought Advanced Visual Technology, a maker of space-planning software for retailers, for an undisclosed sum, it said Wednesday. (Watch a slideshow of the hottest M&As of 2008.

By combining AVT's Retail Focus software with its Oracle Retail application suite, the company hopes to help retailers boost profitabilty by enhancing their store layout.

Oracle expects to close the deal by year-end. The companies will operate independently until the deal closes, at which point AVT's staff and management would join Oracle's Retail Global Business Unit, Oracle said.

AVT has helped chain stores including mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse and bookseller Waterstones to redesign their stores.

The company is a long-standing partner of Oracle's, but it is also a certified partner of software companies including SAP, Microsoft and computer-aided design vendor AudoDesk. Oracle said its systems integration partners would benefit from having a single point of contact for Oracle and AVT products, but gave no indication of whether AVT staff would continue to work with SAP or Microsoft.

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