IBM to buy DemandTec for $440 million

ARMONK, N.Y. (AP) ? IBM is buying DemandTec Inc., a price-management software company, for $440 million in cash to expand its commerce service offerings aimed at businesses.

It’s the latest in a series of large tech deals focused on cloud-based software, which is delivered to businesses over an Internet connection rather than by installing it on computers.

International Business Machines Corp. said Thursday that it is paying $13.20 per share for San Mateo, Calif.-based DemandTec. That’s a 57 percent premium to DemandTec’s closing stock price of $8.43 on Wednesday.

DemandTec’s stock rose $4.69, or 55.6 percent, to $13.12 in morning trading Thursday, approaching its 52-week high of $14.08

IBM, which is based in Armonk, N.Y., said the deal will help expand its “smarter commerce” business that help companies set the best prices and choose the best product mix based on customer buying trends.

Though smaller, IBM’s move follows a recent trend of cloud-based acquisitions in the business technology industry. On Dec. 3, Germany’s SAP AG announced it is paying $3.4 billion for SuccessFactors, a software company specializing in human resources tasks. In October, rival business software behemoth Oracle Corp. agreed to buy RightNow Technologies Inc. for about $1.5 billion so it can offer a broader range of software and services that help businesses manage customer service.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012.

Shares of Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM slid $1.01 to $193.04 in morning trading.