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Cloud upstart Infor pays $675 million for commerce platform

August 11, 2015, 4:37 PM UTC
New man: Infor CEO Charles Phillips, at his New York City headquarters.
Courtesy: Mackenzie Stroh

Most companies rely on a complex network of supply chain partners to design, manufacture and deliver products. Coordinating orders across multiple enterprise resource planning systems is far from easy.

That’s the motivation for Infor’s $675 million acquisition of cloud software company GT Nexus, which manages more than $100 billion of goods for 25,000 businesses. Big-name accounts for the commerce platform include Adidas Group, Caterpillar, Columbia Sportswear, DHL, Home Depot, Levi Strauss & Co., Maersk, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, and UPS.

The deal, announced Tuesday, is subject to regulatory approval. If all goes as planned, GT Nexus will be part of Infor within 45 days. It’s actually Infor’s second biggest deal, after its $2 billion buyout of Lawson Software four years ago.

In discussing the rationale for the union, Infor CEO Charles Phillips noted: “In a complex, high velocity supply chain, all partners need to know what was ordered, when it was built, where it is in transit, if the order has changed, and has it cleared customs.”

There’s already an appreciable overlap for the companies’ customer lists: Infor’s software is used by approximately 3,200 fashion and retail accounts, many of which already use the GT Nexus service.

New York-based Infor was created through the mashup of dozens of software companies focused on manufacturing and other enterprise processes, including Lawson, Epiphany, and SalesLogix. The company is backed by private equity and public debt. Sales grew by 12% for its latest fiscal year, during which it added more than 2,900 new customers—including about 500 accounts poached from SAP and Oracle. GT Nexus, headquartered in Oakland, Calif., was founded in 1998. It is considered the largest cloud platform focused on supply chain management.

Infor, which positions itself as a more nimble alternative to the likes of Oracle (ORCL) and SAP (SAP), is preparing for a “period of high growth.” This deal is just the latest evidence. The other recent indicator came several weeks ago, when the company hired a new CFO, former investment banker Jeffrey Laborde. Infor’s previous finance chief left after less than 18 months.

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