Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oracle and I-Flex

Oracle is currently seeking to buy another 20% of Indian software developer I-Flex Solutions, boosting its stake to about 75%.

I-Flex writes banking software while Oracle (nasdaq: ORCL - news - people ) develops database software.

Oracle is looking to buy about 16.62 million shares for about $531 million. The offer will be on the table between Nov. 6 and 25.

In August, Oracle upped its stake in I-Flex to about 55.1% from 52.5% and offered to purchase an additional 20% of outstanding shares from I-Flex shareholders. Indian law requires Oracle to make an offer on another 20% of shares in the hands of private shareholders following prior purchases of I-Flex's stock.

"In acquiring a majority stake in I-Flex Solutions, Oracle announced its arrival on the world stage of vertical banking technology," wrote Virginia Garcia, research director at Financial Services Strategies and IT Investments, in a research report.

The analyst noted that Oracle is already the largest provider of software to the global banking industry in terms of revenue after its acquisitions of PeopleSoft and Siebel.

But because Oracle lacks vertical software and services capabilities that represent the lion's share of bank IT spending, the company's market and mindshare in financial services remains narrow, according to the analyst.

Oracle has been active in India for nearly 20 years. India is Oracle's fourth-largest market in Asia in terms of revenue.

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