Hyperion to acquire Brio for $142 million

Hyperion to acquire Brio for $142 million

The business intelligence analytics software market is losing a second vendor in less than a week, as Hyperion Solutions announced a $US142 million buyout of Brio Software on Wednesday.

The news came days after Business Objects announced its planned $820 million purchase of Brio competitor Crystal Decisions.

Performance management software maker Hyperion said it hopes Brio's reporting tools will help it capture customers earlier in the buying cycle. The company plans to integrate Brio's query and analysis technology with its own Business Performance Management Suite of planning and measurement applications.

The acquisition is slated to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals. Until then, Hyperion will offer Brio's products to its own customers through a reselling agreement.

As the buying climate for enterprise software products remains depressed, analysts have been forecasting consolidation in the sector, with larger companies taking advantage of low valuations to snap up niche vendors. Smaller companies are also facing increased threats from larger rivals that are adding features once offered by standalone developers - most notably Microsoft, which recently unveiled plans to ship significant extensions to its business intelligence platform by the end of this year.

"Chalk this up to 'the Microsoft effect'," AMR Research analyst John Hagerty wrote in a recent research note on Business Objects' Crystal Decisions acquisition. "When a formidable competitor (Microsoft) sets its sights on the reporting sector of the broader Business Intelligence (BI) market, those affected (like Crystal Decisions) have to scramble for a defensible business strategy."

The Business Objects-Crystal Decisions deal probably contributed to Hyperion's Brio purchase. In a report on the Crystal Decisions' buyout released earlier this week, Forrester Research predicted that Hyperion would end its partnership with Crystal Decisions rather than continue licensing software from direct competitor Business Objects.

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