SAP Beefs Up Travel With Concur Purchase

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

SAP dips deep into its pockets to acquire expense software maker Concur for $8.3 billion (£5bn)

German software giant SAP AG is to pay heavily to acquire the American firm, Concur Technologies Inc.

SAP America is to pay approximately $8.3bn (£5bn) to purchase Seattle-based Concur, which specialises in cloud-based travel and expense management software for businesses. The purchase price of $129 (£79) per share represents a 20 percent premium over the September 17 closing price.

Travel Move

SAP specialises in enterprise software, and the deal will add Concur’s cloud-based travel and expense management software to its portfolio. It has been estimated that corporations spend approximately $1.2 trillion (£730bn) worldwide per year on travel, and SAP aims to take a bigger slice of that lucrative pie with the deal.

Concur is a global operation with more than 4,200 staff and more than 23,000 customers, as well as 25 million active users. Concur has am annual turnover of more than $700m (£427m), and it welcomed the move and its board has already approved the deal, which is expected to close in either late 2014 or earlier 2015.

SAP_grad_R_min“We have always been focused on making solutions for real customer problems, and with SAP we have a great opportunity to advance that mission,” said Steve Singh, CEO of Concur. “We are constantly seeking innovative ways to deliver the best customer experience and we’re excited about leveraging SAP technology, including SAP HANA as we scale globally.”

“The acquisition of Concur is consistent with our relentless focus on the business network,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. “With Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur, SAP is the undisputed business network company. With the SAP HANA platform, the possibilities to innovate new business models around Concur and the network are limitless.”

“Concur shares SAP’s vision to help our customers ‘Run simple’” added McDermott. “Concur cloud solutions are network-based and enable context-aware applications for travellers to use on any mobile device.”

Cloud Giant

The deal will also result in SAP having more than 50 million users in the cloud – more than any enterprise cloud company. Indeed, SAP claims it will be the second largest cloud company in terms of revenue.

SAP is locked in a constant battle with arch-rivals Oracle and Software AG for market share in database, cloud middleware and application services. Earlier this year the company revealed that SAP HANA was a key growth factor for the company in 2013. HANA software revenue increased a whopping 69 percent in 2013 to $902 million.

In March this year, Hewlett-Packard launched the first converged infrastructure system for users of SAP’s HANA.

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