Could Oracle Bid for Lawson Software?

by Paul Shread

Speculators are betting that the Infor-Lawson merger talks could soon get a little more interesting.

Infor shook up the ERP market two weeks ago with its proposed acquisition of Lawson Software(NASDAQ: LWSN) for $1.8 billion.

Now Infor may soon have company in its bid to acquire its ERP rival, according to a Bloomberg report.

Analysts and M&A specialists told Bloombergthat the price Infor offered for Lawson is well below other recent enterprise software acquisitions. They believe another offer for Lawson is likely — and they say it could come from enterprise applications giant Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL).

The analysts and arbitrage specialists say Oracle could find Lawson's electronic medical records business particularly attractive, thanks to a U.S. law requiring healthcare providers to adopt EMR systems.

Lawson also offers ERP, supply chain management, CRM and other enterprise applications. The combination of Infor and Lawson would vault Infor past Sage and into third place in the ERP market — behind Oracle and SAP (NYSE: SAP).

A bidding war with Oracle would also be interesting because Infor hired former Oracle President Charles Phillips as CEO after his departure from Oracle last fall. Lawson, meanwhile, has a significant and active stakeholder in billionaire Carl Icahn, who could also influence merger talks.

Lawson hasn't commented on the Infor offer since acknowledging its existence two weeks ago. The company will report its quarterly results Thursday night, and could shed more light on the state of takeover talks then.

You can read more about Oracle ERP here.

  This article was originally published on Tuesday Mar 29th 2011
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