May 23, 2012, 4:13 PM

SAP buys b2b e-commerce portal Ariba for $4.3 billion

Ariba will retain both its name and its management team.

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SAP AG, a provider of business software to some of the world’s largest companies has agreed to pay $4.3 billion for Ariba Inc., the operator of an Internet-based collaboration network for corporate buyers and sellers.

Ariba says its global trading network automates more than $319 billion in commerce transactions among more than 730,000 companies. The network can be used to purchase merchandise that retailers sell to consumers as well as industrial goods for operating businesses. SAP serves a base of more than 190,000 companies, including retailers.

Under terms of the acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, Ariba will retain both its name and its management team, including CEO Bob Calderoni.

The two companies say the acquisition will enable retailers and others to more easily discover suppliers and share product and transaction data through the Internet.

The move is the latest such deal among companies involved in e-commerce technology and software. Today, for instance, Oracle Corp., which competes with SAP in business software and is a growing player in e-commerce, said it will buy Vitrue, a social media marketing vendor.

SAP reported fiscal year 2011 revenue of $18 billion. SAP clients include Procter & Gamble and IBM Corp., as well as such retailers as Zappos, a unit of Amazon.com Inc., No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide; W.W. Grainger, No. 15, and Under Armour, No. 143.

 

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