Wednesday, January 31, 2001
As OEM companies continue the glacial migration of their B2B
commerce onto the Internet, software companies have been scrambling to provide
the best tools. But at the same time, high-tech companies are being squeezed by
a shrinking NASDAQ, so many startups are being gobbled up in the name of
This week, Ariba (www.ariba.com) made a quick jump forward in this
race when it announced it would acquire Agile Software (www.agilesoft.com) for $2.55 billion. The
deal is expected to close in the third quarter.
Ariba, which provides e-Commerce platforms and network services,
sees the move as an entry point into the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
market. It cites Agile's strengths in collaborative manufacturing and direct
procurement, featuring its main products; Agile Anywhere, Agile Buyer, and
MyAgile.com. Together, the combined company will soon offer Web-based
collaboration across the entire product lifecycle, from design to component
sourcing to component buying, and finally to mass production.
The trade terms dictate that each share of Agile stock will be
converted into 1.35 shares of Ariba, a ratio that added up to $2.55 billion
based on stock market values at the time of the announcement. Ariba also
acquired SupplierMarket.com, a collaborative sourcing site, in August. The jury
is still out on the effect of the most recent announcement on the competitive
field of supply chain engineering software providers, including Adexa, Commerce
One, i2 Technologies, Matrix One, PTC's Windchill, and SAP.