SAP moves closer to acquiring SAP SI

German business software vendor SAP AG has moved closer to acquiring the remaining shares of SAP Systems Integration AG (SAP SI) after Software AG agreed Wednesday to sell its 3.6 percent stake in the IT service provider.

Software AG will receive Euro 20.40 (US$24.37) per share for its 1.27 million shares in SAP SI, Software AG said in a statement. The transaction will be completed within the next few days, the company said.

The agreement with Software AG brings SAP's total ownership of SAP SI to around 74 percent, according to SAP SI spokesman Stephan Kahlhöfer.

By the end of the April or early May, SAP plans to make an offer to SAP SI shareholders holding the remaining shares, Kahlhöfer said. "As far as we know, around 60 percent of these shareholders are private investors and the remaining 40 percent are institutional investors," he said.

On March 24, SAP in Walldorf, Germany, announced its intention to take over the systems integrator completely and merge the company with its own consulting unit.

SAP's new NetWeaver integration platform is driving the acquisition, according to Kahlhöfer. Traditionally, SAP SI has focused on systems integration, while SAP's consulting unit has concentrated on implementation. But with NetWeaver, SAP has now moved into systems integration, creating a competitive situation, the spokesman said. As a result, SAP decided to bring the two units together and create one face to the customer.

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