Oracle Acquisition
A plane flies over software maker Oracle Corp.'s headquarters in Redwood City, Calif. on March 20, 2012. Oracle is buying Micros Systems Inc., which provides software and hardware to the hospitality and retail industries, for about $5.3 billion, the companies announced Monday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Ulman: Micros sale will lead to local jobs

Oracle Corp.’s deal to buy Columbia-based Micros Systems Inc. for $5.3 billion is expected to lead to job growth in the county, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said Monday.

“Micros executives have given me strong assurance that Oracle is committed to the great business based here, and expects to grow and continue to add jobs,” Ulman said. “I know that Micros is completing a real estate transaction in Howard County, and that will continue. We welcome Oracle and look forward to working together to strengthen their investment in Howard County.”

Micros, which sells point-of-sale systems for hotels, restaurants, and retailers, had more than 6,300 employees as of 2012. The company says more than 330,000 of its systems are installed in table and quick-service restaurants, motels, hotels, casinos and other locations in more than 180 countries.

Micros stockholders will get $68 a share in cash, 18 percent more than the closing price on June 16, a day before Bloomberg reported the companies were near a deal. Net of Micros’ cash, the value is $4.6 billion, Oracle said in a statement Monday. The Redwood City, California-based software maker came close to acquiring Micros six years ago only for the deal to fall through at the last minute.

Six years ago, Micros Chairman Tom Giannopoulos, who was CEO at the time, flew from Maryland to California to sign a deal with Oracle, only to have the transaction fall through, according to one person with knowledge of the matter.

Peter Altabef, a former Dell Inc. executive, has been CEO of Micros since January 2013.

Micros’ revenue totaled $1.29 billion in its fiscal 2013 and it has been growing in the low double-digit range for the past three years. The company is projected to generate $1.37 billion in fiscal 2014, which ends late this month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Oracle, which has acquired about 100 companies in the last decade, has seen the incremental revenue gains accrued through those deals dry up. After a late entry to the cloud-computing market, sales have declined or gained less than 5 percent in each of the past 11 quarters as customers gravitate to rivals selling Internet-based software. Last week, Oracle posted profit and sales that missed analysts’ estimates.

“Micros gives them a strong foothold in the hotel and hospitality industry,” said Richard Williams, an analyst at Summit Research Partners LLC in Summit, New Jersey, who recommends holding Oracle’s stock. “That will be an important asset for them and will tie well into their other systems, such as their engineer systems and cloud-related offerings.”

Oracle’s shares rose less than 1 percent to $41.07 at 1:04 p.m. in New York, after slumping 4 percent on June 20 following the disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report. Micros, which closed at $65.77 on June 20, jumped to $67.97.

The deal, expected to close in the second half, will add to Oracle’s earnings immediately, excluding some items, Chief Financial Officer Safra Catz said in the statement. The acquisition would be Oracle’s largest since the $5.7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems Inc. in 2010, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, expects more acquisitions after the Micros purchase.

“It’s clear they need to do deals on the horizon in order to accelerate growth,” said Ives, who rates Oracle’s shares outperform. “They were late to the cloud.”

Oracle has almost $39 billion of cash and marketable securities, Catz said on a conference call last week.

Dealmaking in the technology space is accelerating as established software companies try to navigate the shift to cloud computing and fend off challenges from new competitors. This month, SanDisk Corp. agreed to buy Fusion-io Inc., which provides storage to Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc., for about $1.1 billion.

Oracle has long been an acquisition machine under CEO Larry Ellison, who is worth $46.6 billion and ranks eighth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He led Oracle Team USA to victory in the America’s Cup last year and agreed in 2012 to buy most of the Hawaiian island of Lanai for an undisclosed sum.

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