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SAP lays down $5.8bn for Sybase

Will integrate mobile platform with all products

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German giant SAP has bought Sybase for $5.8bn - a big premium for the database and mobile firm.

The deal gives Sybase shareholders $65 per share - 44 per cent more than the shares have been worth, on average, over the last three months.

SAP is using its own cash and a $2.75bn loan from Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital to pay for the purchase.

The takeover has been approved by both boards of directors but will need to get the go-ahead from regulators too.

SAP said one of the motivations for the deal was to improve its mobile offering. It will use Sybase's mobile platform to enable all SAP software to be accessed on mobile phones - you'll be running your datacentre from your iPhone - but you can actually already do that.

In return Sybase gets access to SAP's "in-memory technology" which should improve analytics. It will also get SAP's event processing and analytics, used by the financial sector, to sell into other markets.

Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP, said the deal would combine his company's enterprise software with "the world’s most powerful mobile infrastructure platform". This would give customers constant mobile access to their enterprise applications.

SAP promised to continue support for both firms' road maps and maintain both sets of research and development staff.

Sybase will keep its brand and separate identity. Company founder John Chen remains in place and gets a seat on SAP's executive board.

The partnership could prove a real competitor for Oracle, which is still busy digesting its purchase of Sun.

The full release is here. ®

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