SAP (NYSE:SAP) announced yesterday that, as per recent speculation, it is buying analytics software vendor Business Objects. The deal is worth $6.8-billion, which is roughly 4.5x current-year sales, or a little better than 60-times this year's projected BOBJ earnings.
It is a big move for SAP. The company is not well known for large acquisitions, more for "tuck-in" style takeouts, so this BOBJ deal is well outside its area of acquisition comfort. Nevertheless, with Oracle pushing hard to be the consolidator in business software, and with that trend showing no sign of abating (nor should it), SAP had to get more aggressive. There is more of this sort of thing to come, but it doesn't get any slower form here, with Lawson and a host of others likely to disappear over the next 12 months.