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Oracle Closes $9.3 Billion Acquisition of NetSuite

Tech giant Oracle announced the completion of its deal to acquire cloud company NetSuite for $9.3 billion in cash today. Oracle said that enough NetSuite shares — 53 percent — had been tendered in favor of the vote as of midnight Friday.

The completion of the deal caps off a dizzying few weeks of mergers and acquisitions activity in the enterprise tech sector. For example, semiconductor-maker Broadcom announced last month that it had agreed to acquire Brocade Communications Systems, the enterprise networking solutions company, for $5.5 billion, plus an additional $400 million in assumed debt.

Changing Its Tune on Cloud Services

Oracle first announced its plans to acquire NetSuite in July. NetSuite was originally founded in 1998 as NetLedger, a provider of Web-hosted accounting software, partly on the strength of $125 million in capital provided by Oracle founder and now-chairman and CTO Larry Ellison (pictured above).

The acquisition is Oracle’s biggest since its $10.3 billion purchase of PeopleSoft in 2005, but the company has been busy putting together smaller deals for other cloud services providers. Earlier this year, Oracle announced plans to acquire the construction-focused firm Textura for $663 million and the utilities-focused Opower for $532 million.

Oracle’s current strategy of going all-in on cloud services is something of an about-face for the company. In 2008, Ellison derided the trend toward cloud computing as nothing more than a “fashion-driven” fad. But as the company faced increasing competition for enterprise services from cloud-based competitors such as Salesforce, it has been forced to change its tune.

Investing in Engineering and Distribution

“Oracle and NetSuite cloud applications are complementary, and will coexist in the marketplace forever,” Oracle’s co-CEO Mark Hurd said when the deal was first announced. “We intend to invest heavily in both products — engineering and distribution.”

The merger helps Oracle beef up its cloud offerings while also helping it reach smaller clients, including midmarket enterprises it may not have been able to reach before. NetSuite, meanwhile, should be able to benefit from the increased scale it can now achieve as part of the Oracle family, allowing it to sell to more industries and more markets.

“Gaining access to Oracle’s tremendous resources and deep technology stack makes this combination a winner for NetSuite’s customers, employees and partners,” Oracle said when the deal was first announced. “We expect NetSuite to utilize Oracle’s global scale and reach to accelerate the availability of its cloud solutions in more industries and more countries.”

NetSuite provides cloud-based software for enterprise resource planning and other applications to more than 30,000 business customers and organizations around the world. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is one of the key areas that Oracle intends to focus on for its cloud strategy, along with customer relationship management and human capital management services.

Oracle is also aiming to move its other major software area, databases, to the cloud. The company is also likely looking to leverage the smaller ERP clients it has acquired through NetSuite into database clients.

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