IBM buying Cognos for $5B

IBM today demonstrated that $5 billion can guy an awful lot of business intelligence as it snapped Cognos in a deal that should strengthen Big Blue's hand in the BI marketplace.

From the press release:

IBM and Cognos today announced that the two companies have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Cognos, a publicly held company based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in an all-cash transaction at a price of approximately $5 billion or $58 per share. The acquisition is subject to Cognos shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.

The acquisition of Cognos supports IBM's Information on Demand strategy, a cross-company initiative announced on February 16, 2006 that combines IBM's strength in information integration, content and data management and business consulting services to unlock the business value of information.

That Cognos is being acquired does not come as a shock to industry watchers in the wake of SAP's merger with Business Objects and Oracle's purchase of Hyperion.

Cognos, ranked No. 67 on the Network World 200, was considered a remaining plum. Cognos itself acquired Applix earlier this fall.

Cognos shares were trading up about 7.5% to $57 just before 10 a.m.

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