by Brenon Dal
In a highly unusual move, IBM did the M&A equivalent of a ‘Tuesday twofer,’ buying both big and small on Tuesday. In terms of the high-dollar deal, Big Blue said it will hand over nearly $1.17bn in cash for predictive analytics software vendor SPSS. The purchase of SPSS is the company’s largest transaction since it shelled out $5bn for Cognos in November 2007. In fact, we suspect the $1.17bn paid for SPSS is roughly the same amount that IBM spent on the nine deals it has announced (many of them with prices undisclosed) since picking up Cognos.
On the smaller side, IBM also said yesterday that it has acquired startup Ounce Labs, which makes source code analysis software. Terms weren’t revealed, but we wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the amount IBM paid for Ounce Labs was just 1% of the price it forked over for SPSS. Ounce Labs had raised some $29.5m in venture backing.
As a final thought on Big Blue’s doubleheader Tuesday, we would note that the two purchases double the number of acquisitions that IBM has announced so far this year. The total of four deals in 2009, however, is basically half the number it had announced by this time in any of the previous three years.