IBM Eyes Marketing Business with Unica Buyout

Tech leader IBM and Unica Corporation have announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Unica in a cash transaction at a price of $21 per share, or at a net price of approximately $480 million, after adjusting for cash.

A publicly held company in Waltham, Mass., Unica will expand IBM’s ability to help organizations analyze and predict customer preferences and develop more targeted marketing campaigns.

“Unica’s focus is to help our customers deliver marketing messages so relevant that they are perceived as a service to our clients’ customers,” said Yuchun Lee, CEO, Unica Corp.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

“Unica was a clear choice for IBM based on its power to automate a broad set of marketing capabilities and its established reputation for delivering customer success in marketing to organizations around the world,” said Craig Hayman, general manager, IBM Industry Solutions.

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To meet the increasing demand for tech-based marketing, IBM is building capabilities to help clients create cross-channel brand experience to promote customer loyalty and satisfaction.

With analytics and marketing process improvement, the combination of IBM and Unica is supposed to help clients streamline their processes including relationship marketing, online marketing and marketing operations.

Currently, Unica has over 1,500 global customers across a range of industries including financial services, insurance, retail telecommunications, travel and hospitality. Customers include Best Buy, eBay, ING, Monster, Starwood and US Cellular.

Unica’s 500 employees will be integrated into IBM’s Software Solutions Group, which includes a range of industry-focused offerings.

Unica software will complement the capabilities of IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization – a team of 5,000 consultants and a network of analytics solution centers. It is backed by an overall investment of over $11 billion in acquisitions in the last five years.

The Unica acquisition announcement came from IBM today, August 13.

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Rakesh Raman