Infor-Lawson Merger Could Create Third-Largest ERP Vendor

by Paul Shread

A merger between the two ERP companies could place them third behind SAP and Oracle, according to Gartner.

The ERP market could get a little less competitive, if Infor has its way.

Infor and parent company Golden Gate Capital have offered $11.25 a share to acquire ERP rival Lawson Software (NASDAQ: LWSN). Lawson confirmed the $1.8 billion offer late Friday and said it has entered into discussions with Infor, but that no agreement was guaranteed. The news followed reports that Lawson had hired Barclays Capital to explore a possible sale of the company.

The proposed merger would combine Infor's $1.2 billion ERP business with Lawson's $360 million ERP business to move past Sage and become the third-largest ERP vendor, according to data provided by Gartner.

SAP (NYSE: SAP) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) hold a commanding lead in the ERP market, with a 26% and 12% share, respectively, according to 2009 Gartner market share data published in April 2010. An Infor-Lawson merger would create the number three player with a 7.5% share, followed by Sage at 6.8% and Microsoft at 4.2%.

Infor and Lawson offer a broad line of enterprise applications under their ERP systems, including CRM, supply chain management, human resources and other software lines.

Infor hired former Oracle president Charles Phillips last October. Lawson, meanwhile, has a significant and active stakeholder in billionaire Carl Icahn, who could push for a merger if he believes it benefits shareholders.

Stay informed on other ERP vendors here.

  This article was originally published on Monday Mar 14th 2011
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