The Rich Valuation of Integration

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Includes: DELL, IBM, INFA
by: 451 Research: Inorganic Growth

By Brenon Daly

A lot of attention (and the accompanying financial rewards) around data management has tended to pile up in security, storage, analytics and other well-known market segments. Rather quietly but consistently, data integration has joined the list of richly valued markets as customers use these offering to get at the massive stores of information that run their businesses. The premium valuation is showing up both on Wall Street and, just recently, in M&A, too.

Take the case of Informatica (NASDAQ:INFA). Shares of the data-integration provider have nearly doubled over the past year, and currently fetch their highest price in a decade. Informatica currently trades at a $3.8bn market capitalization, a rather rich six times its projected 2010 sales of $640m. The company has always stressed that part of its value has been in its independence among the software giants, but Informatica has nonetheless attracted M&A speculation in the past.

Those highly valued (and highly visible) public market vendors have helped drive up the valuation of smaller data-integration startups. For instance, we estimate that IBM paid about $200m for Cast Iron Systems, which we understand was running at about $30m in sales. And just last week, Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) reached for Boomi in a deal that valued the company at more than twice that multiple. (Subscribers can see our full report, which includes our estimates on the revenue as well as the price of Boomi.)