A Potential Quarter-Billion Dollar M&A Hangover for JDA Software

Jun.18.10 | About: JDA Software (JDAS)

By Brenon Daly

The cost of JDA Software’s (NASDAQ:JDAS) purchase of i2 Technologies just got a lot steeper. A jury has found that i2 software failed to do what it was supposed to do for department store chain Dillard’s (NYSE:DDS). The case goes back a decade, long before JDA picked up the supply chain vendor. (The $568m acquisition, which we called a buyout-style play, closed in December 2009 after a very rocky process that played out during the depth of the credit crisis.)

As part of its decision, the jury awarded Dillard’s a whopping $246m: $8m of that for direct damages and $238m in punitive damages. JDA says it will appeal the verdict. Regardless of outcome – and how much JDA has to pay – the company has already lost in the court of Wall Street. Investors sliced $215m, or 20%, off JDA’s valuation on June 16. (Shares of the supply chain management vendor are now changing hands at about 10% lower than they were when the deal closed, compared to a 5% gain in the Nasdaq over the same period.)

With JDA on the hook for a quarter-billion dollars (at least potentially) because of legal problems at an acquired company, it joins a dubious list of buyers that have gotten burned. Most notably, SAP picked up software maintenance provider TomorrowNow in early 2005 as a way to siphon off some of the rich maintenance stream that Oracle collects for supporting its application. Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) sued SAP, alleging that TomorrowNow illegally downloaded information about Oracle’s support program ‘and then used that data to service its own customers.’ SAP has since shuttered the division. It looks likely that the Oracle-SAP case will go to trial later this year.